ND legislator saves a fellow lawmaker from choking

Bismarck, ND – It’s just his first full day of work as a North Dakota legislator, and today Representative Pete Silbernagel of Casselton is being called a lifesaver.

“There was a piece of dry bread that went down my throat the wrong way, I started choking and I got up and wanted to cough. I didn’t get enough air to cough,” says Sen. Robert Erbele of Lehr.

Rep. Craig Healand says, “I noticed his face getting redder and redder. I think at that moment everyone knew something was going on.”

“He kept looking at me with a very scared look on his face,” says Jamestown Senator Terry Wanzek.

Erbele says, “I was showing them the motion I needed, because if nothing else I was going to throw myself over the chair. Which is how you do the self maneuver on the heimlich.”

“I panicked, and asked, “does anyone know the heimlich maneuver?” That’s when Representative Silbernagel came to the rescue,” says Wanzek.