AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – An Auburn Police Officer who saved a man’s life while on his lunch break is sharing the story hoping others will feel encouraged to get first aid training in CPR and the Heimlich maneuver so they can save a life too.

Captain Lorenza Dorsey is a good man to have around in an emergency. He’s spent thirty-five years on the force and now works as a community officer part-time while enjoying his retirement. Last Wednesday, Captain Dorsey and a co-worker went to grab lunch on their break. Captain Dorsey says he was in uniform, so someone alerted him to a commotion happening at another table.

“I could see a gentleman was choking, and there was another gentlemen behind him trying to do the Heimlich Maneuver on him, and it wasn’t working. It was a crisis. I could tell by his face and his wife’s face that they were scared. I took the place of the other guy trying to do the Heimlich. I took over, and my thinking was I am not going to stop this, and I will continue. By the third time, it came out. He was able to recover and restore his airway,” said Dorsey.

Auburn Fire Fighter and Advanced EMT Justin Farmer demonstrated the maneuver for News 3. Farmer says the Heimlich should only be used if a person’s airway is completely blocked. If the person is still passing some air and able to gag, you should encourage the person to keep coughing and call for help.

“If they are not breathing, stand them up if you can. Get them to bend slightly forward at the abdomen and take your hand with your thumb on the inner side above the belly button and below the ribs. Then, the other hand crosses over. Then, you pull in and push up. You need to thrust up under their diaphragm towards their ribs. It’s a quick up and in,” explained Farmer.

Captain Dorsey says anyone can save a life by learning CPR and the Heimlich from a trained professional.

“Once you have that training, if something happens, you feel like you can step in and help, and not just me as a police officer, but for anybody. I am just so thankful he is okay. So grateful he’s okay,” said Dorsey.

Please, reach out to your local fire department for training information and classes. You can take the class as an individual, with your family, or with your workplace.