HomeNews

Airman conducts Heimlich; saves life

Master Sgt. Andre C. Denson, medical equipment management section chief, at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Medical Center on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, recently saved a life when he performed the Heimlich maneuver on a patron who was choking in the WHASC’s food court area. 
(U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Daniel J. Calderón)

Master Sgt. Andre C. Denson, medical equipment management section chief, at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Medical Center on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, recently saved a life when he performed the Heimlich maneuver on a patron who was choking in the WHASC’s food court area. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Daniel J. Calderón)

Maj. Gen. John J. DeGoes, 59th Medical Wing commander, presents a command coin to Master Sgt. Andre C. Denson, medical equipment management section chief, at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Medical Center on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Sept. 17. DeGoes coined Denson for his recent life-saving actions in which he performed the Heimlich maneuver on a patron who was choking in the WHASC’s food court area. 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Daniel J. Calderón)

Maj. Gen. John J. DeGoes, 59th Medical Wing commander, presents a command coin to Master Sgt. Andre C. Denson, medical equipment management section chief, at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Medical Center on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Sept. 17. DeGoes coined Denson for his recent life-saving actions in which he performed the Heimlich maneuver on a patron who was choking in the WHASC’s food court area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Daniel J. Calderón)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas --

Recently, a quick-thinking Airman saved a person’s life at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

 

As Master Sgt. Andre C. Denson, medical equipment management section chief, left the food court from grabbing lunch, a man brushed up against Denson’s left shoulder and indicated he was choking.

 

Denson immediately stepped in and performed the Heimlich maneuver ultimately saving the man’s life.

 

“Once I started giving him the Heimlich, I probably gave him about four or five thrusts and then there was [an Airman] who said, ‘Your hands are too low,’” explained Denson. “So, I readjusted my hands higher, closer to his sternum, and the lodged item came out.”

 

After the man was stabilized and medical personnel arrived, Denson picked up his lunch and went back to his office.

 

“I’m happy he will have this opportunity to live and his family can enjoy him still being around for them,” Denson said. “I think the most important part is it wasn’t his time. Whether it was me or somebody else helping him, it just wasn’t his time to go.”

 

He told no one about his actions, but surveillance footage captured the lifesaving act.

 

“What you see is what you get,” said Dave Collings, clinical engineering flight chief. “He’s the model Airman. He works hard. He has great respect and he receives great respect from everyone in the office.”

 

Denson maintains and tests medical equipment used at facilities throughout the 59th MDW’s area of responsibility, ensuring medical personnel have properly functioning equipment to complete the mission.

 

He credits the basic lifesaving skills he has received through the Air Force for his ability to step in when needed.

 

“Those [scenarios] do come into play,” he said. “As easy as calling 911, you can save somebody’s life yourself. I don’t take that training for granted at all. If you come on a situation, do anything you can to save that person’s life. The worst thing you can do is to do nothing.”


 
  
Secure Messaging

Nurse Advice Line

JBSA Sexual Assault Response and Prevention

JBSA SAPR Hotline: 210-808-7272
DoD Safe Helpline: 1-877-995-5247

Patient Appointment Line: 210-916-9900

Chaplain Services: 210-292-7373

Social Media

NOTICE OF PRIVACY

Learn more about how we protect your privacy, how medical information about you may be used and disclosed, and how you can get access to this information. Notice of Privacy Practices