As soon as firefighter Tim Callanan yanked a big hunk of steak out of Mayor Art Ward’s throat Saturday evening, the mayor’s color started coming back.
Until that moment, the situation appeared pretty dire.
Though Ward, 63, remains in the intensive care unit at Bristol Hospital in critical condition, family and friends are hoping for a full recovery in the days ahead.
Ward collapsed about 10 minutes after arriving at the Italian Social Club for a tailgating party before the big University of Connecticut football game Saturday evening.
He was eating a steak when he suddenly got up from the table and walked off a bit.
Someone noticed the mayor’s distress and a couple of guys rushed to help, including Dale Grande, a club member, who may have been the first to see that Ward needed help.
When Callanan first saw Ward, the mayor was already on his back with Grande starting to do abdominal thrusts to try to get him breathing again. Callanan said he jumped in, too.
A state police officer, Chris Porrini, joined in right away as well, Callanan said, and they tried compressions and rescue breathing on Ward.
“People were hollering that he choked on something,” Callanan said.
He said they couldn’t see his throat because the mayor’s mouth was clamped shut so they had to pry open the mayor’s mouth.
At that point, one of the three police officers responding to 911 calls, Ryan Kulig, pulled out a small flashlight and pointed it down the mayor’s throat, Callanan said.
“I saw something and reached in and got a pretty sizeable piece of steak,” Callanan said.
A police report said that once the steak was removed, color began returning to the mayor’s face quickly. Click here for the full story.
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