Rockaway, New Jersey (WABC) — A New Jersey sandwich shop employee was honored this week for saving a choking customer.
The incident occurred Thursday at the PrimoHoagies Italian Specialty Sandwich in the Rockaway Townsquare Mall complex.
I was eating lunch when a customer started eating a sandwich and choking.
The video shows her starting to panic as she approaches the counter, waving her arms to let others know she can’t breathe.
“Suddenly, she took a sip of water, spat it out, and ran,” said PrimoHoagies employee Danielle Buccielli.
Buccielli, 21, was taking orders as usual when the incident happened. She took action immediately, running around the counter and asking the lady if she was choking.
“She tried to speak, but nothing came out. She wasn’t doing anything around her neck, but she was pushing on her stomach. I knew something was wrong.”
Without hesitation, Buccieri began performing the Heimlich Maneuver to remove food stuck in the victim’s throat.
It took mere seconds before relief and gratitude took over.
Buccielli is trained in CPR, but it was her first time performing the Heimlich maneuver. She is relieved that it worked.
“I made a difference. That’s the most important thing. I feel really good about it,” she said.
The customer remains anonymous, but is very grateful.
“She started crying and said, ‘Thank you so much, you saved my life, I need to repay you, it’s great that you saved my life.’ I did,” Buccieri said.
The restaurant honored Buccieri on Friday, giving her a $1,000 bonus for her heroic actions.
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Employees at a PrimoHoagies sandwich shop in New Jersey take action to save a choking customer.video
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