Grant aids in teaching anti-choking techniques


April 25, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

Ever see someone choking momentarily at a table near you in a restaurant and wonder, “would I know what to do if I suddenly had to handle a serious choking situation?” Thanks to a grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation, the staff at the Scioto County Board of Developmental Disabilities will be able to be pressed into action if the need arises.

“We received a $250 grant from the Walmart Foundation to purchase the ActFast AntiChoking Trainer,” Lois Elliott, RN, said. “This device allows trainees hands-on education to ensure that we are not only responding quickly, but effectively in the event that choking occurs.”

Shawn K. Jordan, Awareness Coordinator for the Scioto County Board of DD, said Walmart conducts a Local Community Contribution Program to support local agencies in their efforts to support the community, and in a letter of response, said, “We believe that your organization is doing important work in the communities you serve and we are proud that we are able to support you in your efforts.”

With the grant fund SCBDD was able to purchase two such training devices. The devices, supported by the American Heart Association, fit an individual like a vest. When the Heimlick Maneuver is properly executed, a simulation of the choking object is released from the front of the device.

Educational training will be provided to staff members through use of the device to enhance the safety of the individuals served at SCBDD.

“What this does is teach individuals where to place their hands and how to properly force an object out of a choking victim by using the appropriate upward thrust,” Elliott said. “We are continually learning and seeking ways to provide a safe environment for our staff and all of the individuals we serve.”

Jordan said anyone wanting more information on opportunities available for individuals with developmental disabilities can visit them on the web at, like them on Facebook at Scioto County Board of DD or follow them on Twitter @SciotoDD.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.