In the right place at the right time
By Tech. Sgt. Todd A. Pendleton, 182nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 03, 2008
PEORIA, Illinois -- September 27 was your typical autumn Saturday in Bishop Hill, Illinois, a community known for the Swedish immigrants who founded the town in 1846. Tourists were shopping in the local stores, dining in the local eateries, and enjoying the fall festival held there annually. Chief Master Sgt. Adam Reading, Aeromedical Services Superintendent of the 182nd Medical Group, was having lunch with his wife and son in the restaurant where his daughter works. As Chief Reading was talking with his family, a young girl at a nearby table started choking.
"I jumped up and was eight feet away from her, ran over and said 'I'm a paramedic, I'm here to help'. I performed the Heimlich maneuver, gave a couple of abdominal thrusts...
she started coughing and that told me she was getting air."
Chief Reading says it was his instinct to do what he was trained to do, and hopes more people become trained to respond to a choking victim the way he reacted. "I offered to come back and teach them (the employees) CPR and the Heimlich maneuver in case that ever happens again, somebody who works there knows what to do". He also adds that this was an example of how military training can help you outside of the military environment. "When we train people we tell them you never know when your life is going to cross with somebody else's that needs you. So when we train you, take it seriously. Self-aid and Buddy Care... you can use it any time."
The girl's family was extremely appreciative of Chief Reading's actions, other patrons were commenting on his actions, and the Chief's lunch was even offered to him free of charge. Chief Reading, humbled by all of the attention at that time, responded "I'm glad I was here".