Bartender who learned Heimlich from ‘Baywatch’ saves choking patron

Bartender who learned Heimlich from ‘Baywatch’ saves choking patron
A Boston bartender might have gotten his biggest tip yet — for performing a lifesaving technique on a man choking. (Boston25News.com/Boston25News.com)

BOSTON — A Boston bartender might have gotten his biggest tip yet — for performing a lifesaving technique on a man choking.

While behind the bar at Silvertone Bar & Grill on Bromfield Street, Oscar Simoza saw a customer suddenly start to choke Thursday night.

“At one point, he’s grabbing his friend’s shoulder, and he has, like, a face like he’s laughing, and then I realize his face turns red,” Simoza told WFXT.

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Simoza ran out from behind the bar to the stool where the man was sitting, surveillance video of the incident shows. He immediately began performing the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the blockage from the man’s throat.

“Yeah, I moved,” Simoza told WFXT. “I was surprised. I haven’t played rugby in a while, so it’s pretty funny I can actually run this way still. We got there fast enough.”

Simoza was able to dislodge a steak tip the man was choking on.

“I was like: ‘I’m doing the Heimlich. I’ve never done this before,’” Simoza said.

The man was OK, and customers gave Simoza a big round of applause.

“(The choking patron) probably gave me the best tip," Simoza told WFXT. “Like I say, the best tip ever given to me, ‘Thank you for saving my life.'”

When asked how he learned the Heimlich, Simoza replied:, “I learned it from watching ’Baywatch.'”