Dodger Hero saves choking child

Quick action by school food service worker was key

A young local child is alive today because of quick action by a school district food service worker.

Chelsea Strait, assistant food service director for the Fort Dodge Community School District, used a recently acquired device called a LifeVac to save the life of the child, who was choking at the Early Childhood Center.

The incident happened in late April. The district’s Board of Education recognized Strait as a Dodger Hero on May 9.

Strait saw a student choking in the lunchroom on that scary day in April. She alerted the school principal, Carmen Banwart, and ran out to her vehicle to grab the LifeVac. When she came back inside, school nurse Amy Ulrich was treating the child, but nothing she tried dislodged the food from the child’s airway. Strait tried using the LifeVac, which produced suction to draw the food out of the child’s airway. After two attempts, it worked.

Strait described herself as ”pretty shaky” from the incident.

She had received the LifeVac just two weeks earlier. She bought it just in case she might need it for her own child.

Banwart described the lifesaving teamwork of Ulrich and Strait as ”amazing.” We couldn’t agree more.

We hope the child involved has made a full recovery and is suffering no lasting effects from this incident.

We encourage adults, teens and even elementary school students to learn basic first aid so they can help others who are choking or experiencing some other medical crisis. Just a couple hours of basic first aid training could save a life.


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