NewsJuly 11 2018

Posted by Lucy

Hometown Hero
 By Angela Eves/LCH
   On Saturday, June 30 a family of four were traveling from Olathe, Kansas to Kelso, Washington to visit family for the 4th of July. They stopped by Hutch’s Cafe for a quick bite to eat. While it started off as a normal meal at a local cafe it quickly turned into an urgent life threatening situation.  
   One of the members of the family, Jerry Robillard, started to choke on a hamburger he was eating. A couple of his family members attempted to give him the Heimlich Maneuver, but because Robillard was situated on the inside of the booth they were unsuccessful. Robillard was in a car accident approximately ten years ago, which had left him with a traumatic brain injury. Because of this injury he is unable to stand on his own. This was making the situation more difficult as the family was unable to get him out of the booth quickly. 
   Hutch’s owner Bret McClanahan noticed the situation that was unfolding in the dining room and quickly rushed to get employee Dan Lebeda, who is a former emergency medical technician. “I knew that Dan would know what to do,” stated McClanahan.  
  By this point Robillard’s lips had started to turn blue. Lebeda quickly grabbed Robillard by his shirt to pull him out of the booth and performed the Heimlich Maneuver. After several attempts the food dislodged from his throat and color returned to his lips.  
  I was just happy to be there,” shared Lebeda. “As any EMT would tell you, if you receive a thank you from someone, that’s more than you can ask for.”  
  While Lebeda has not worked as a EMT in many years he states, “It is one of the most enjoyable things I have done in my life.” 
  As the family was leaving the restaurant Lebeda took the opportunity to teach them the correct way to perform the Heimlich Maneuver. 
  The family was able to continue their trip onto Kelso, Washington. And for that they were very grateful!

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