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.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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