Off-duty firefighter saves kid who was choking

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FITCHBURG, Mass. - An off-duty firefighter is getting credit for saving a little boy from choking at an after school event.

Scott LaPrade, a firefighter with the Leominster Fire Department, was at Crocker Field in Fitchburg Thursday night, snapping pictures for the town’s local newspaper. Then he heard students screaming for help.

“When they ran by me screaming I wasn’t sure what they were screaming about until I heard the coach say, ‘Who’s choking?’ I saw his face and realized something serious was going on,” he told Boston 25 News.

LaPrade ran over and immediately could tell the child was in serious distress.

“I see the kid bent over. He’s got his hands on his throat.  He’s choking obviously,” he said.

LaPrade said it took about three quick thrusts right around the belly button and then out popped one of these: the cap from a water bottle.

“He just stood right up and said, ‘I’m good. I’m good…He gave me like, a high five with a handshake you know? And he said thank you,” said LaPrade.

Another off-duty firefighter, Fitchburg Lieutenant Rick Jollimore, was also at the field taking photos, and captured the relief on the child’s face.

Jollimore was featured in a Boston 25 News report just three weeks ago, when a Fitchburg fire lieutenant performed the Heimlich on a man choking in an olive garden. Two off-duty firefighters, two lifesaving maneuvers in less than a month.

“It's nice when you help people on the job, but it carries over when you're off the job, too,” said Jollimore.

LaPrade said his message for the little boy and his family is to be careful with what you stick in your mouth. 

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