It's something that happens often. People either not paying attention or through no fault of their own start choking on a piece of food or chewing gum.

This is exactly what happened to a New Jersey ride-share driver at Newark Airport the other day.

Port Authority Police Officer Len Hoffman was patrolling the area near the P4 parking lot on Pitcairn Avenue past Terminal C around 3: 30 p.m. last Friday. He noticed a man struggling and doubled over outside of his vehicle.

Officer Hoffman acted immediately, assessing the situation quickly realizing that Ziva Yidiz was choking.

It took eight Heimlich maneuver thrusts to free the chewing gum that was blocking the man's breathing. A life saved.

Another officer with situational awareness and the ability to act immediately. Officer Hoffman's quick thinking and response saved this man's life.

A few takeaways from this story: first of all, recognize and appreciate that cops are often put into a position where they have to drop anything that might be personally distracting them and put 100% focus on recalling their training. That takes discipline and courage.

Second, learn the Heimlich! You never know if someone near you will be choking and in need of quick action to save their life.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

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