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heimlich heroes

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To honor and continue the work of Dr. Henry Heimlich, inventor of the Heimlich Maneuver, a local woman is making the life-saving technique approachable and fun for kids. Keep reading to learn more.

Heimlich Heroes
Heimlich Heroes is a free educational program that teaches young people how to step in during a choking emergency.

Cincy Chic: What is Heimlich Heroes?
Terri Huntington, Program Manager of Heimlich Heroes: Heimlich Heroes™ is a free educational program. It teaches young people how to step in to help during a choking emergency. Kids learn to recognize the signs of choking, identify ways to minimize the choking risk, and get practice performing the Heimlich Maneuver® on our specially designed training dolls.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind the program?
Huntington: The Deaconess Association, Inc. of Cincinnati, OH

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind Heimlich Heroes?
Huntington: Heimlich Heroes was developed as a way to honor and continue the work of Dr. Henry Heimlich, the inventor of the Heimlich Maneuver®. This maneuver has been around for over 40 years and has saved so many lives that it made sense to promote its teaching.

Cincy Chic: When did you launch Heimlich Heroes?
Huntington: We launched in 2013.

Terri Huntington
Terri Huntington (left), Program Manager of Heimlich Heroes, and Dr. Henry Heimlich, the inventor of the Heimlich Maneuver®

Cincy Chic: How is Heimlich Heroes working to help the community?
Huntington: Choking is the 5th leading cause of accidental death in our country – with children and the elderly being at highest risk. Because choking is unexpected and happens so quickly, teaching elementary and middle school children what to do in the case of a choking emergency is of vital importance. If someone is truly choking, they cannot breathe and every second counts; after just four minutes with no oxygen, there is potential for brain damage and even death.

Every week we hear stories of kids saving lives with the Heimlich Maneuver®; and, unfortunately, we also hear of people dying from choking because those nearby did not know what to do to help.

Our program’s goal is to get this training into the hands of as many kids as possible so they can confidently respond when encountering such an emergency. To date, over 25,000 kids across the country have been trained through Heimlich Heroes. Lives are being saved as a result of the Heimlich Heroes training.

Cincy Chic: How can local children get involved in the program?
Huntington: Teachers, school nurses, scout leaders, and other youth organizations can register their group at The training takes just an hour and the benefits could be personal! We saw this in the case of two sisters who went through our program and then five months later one saved the other when she choked. See their story here.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more?
Huntington: To learn more about the program visit