A bartender heard someone yell that a woman was choking in the restaurant he works at. So, he stepped in and stepped up to save her.
Watermark Grille bartender Vince Hemingway heard a cry for help. “Just heard somebody yell she’s choking. Then I heard she’s not breathing,” Hemingway said.
He then sprinted from his bar to a booth to find an older woman choking.
Jim Malo is the owner of the Watermark Grille and saw Hemingway run across the bar. “He could’ve been a marathon runner,” Malo said.
Hemingway says you could tell the woman was in trouble. “You could tell she was not breathing,” said Hemingway.
“This lady was turning blue,” said Malo.
Hemingway knew right then and there that he had to perform the Heimlich maneuver to save the woman.
A video recorded the encounter and you can see that he attempted to do it while she was still sitting in the booth. Unfortunately, he couldn’t.
“Her sternum was pushed down toward her hips and her leg was up on the booth so I couldn’t get underneath there,” said Hemingway.
“He was shaking that last 20 seconds he didn’t think he was going to get it out of her,” Malo said.
The bartender’s solution was to pull the woman out of the booth. Once she was out, it only took one compression to save the woman’s life.
“Not knowing if I was going to be able to do it or not. And then her being able to breathe was a huge relief,” Hemingway said.
Malo said this makes Vince his hero. “You’re not only my employee but you’re my hero,” he said.
Despite the recognition, Hemingway doesn’t describe himself as a hero.
“It’s human nature to help. We are all heroes everybody could do the same,” said Hemingway.
He was just glad he was able to help.
The owner of the Watermark Grille Jim Malo says the woman had surgery on her throat two months ago. So, her throat was a bit constricted.
Hemingway says this was the fourth time he’s had to perform the Heimlich maneuver on someone but that all have been successful.
Read More: Bartender at North Naples restaurant saves woman from choking