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Off-Duty Coroners Save Choking Boy at Eatery

Associated Press

July 13, 2010

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Two off-duty deputy coroners in central Pennsylvania showed they’re pretty good with living patients too.

Centre County deputy coroners Judy Pleskonko and Debra Smeal — still wearing their scrubs — were having dinner at a steakhouse Wednesday when a 15-year-old boy near them started choking on a piece of meat.

Pleskonko performed the Heimlich maneuver on the teen, and both women got him to stay calm and coached him to breathe until an ambulance arrived.

Smeal says she and her friend save lives in their other jobs. Pleskonko is a hospital nurse, and Smeal is a volunteer paramedic.

Pleskonko says they made sure to leave without anyone noticing they were driving a vehicle marked “Coroner’s Office.”

Information from: Centre Daily Times,

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