Smiles Behind the Shield: Fire Marshal unexpectedly saves two lives in the same building

SPONSORED CONTENT: Smiles Behind the Shield

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — This month’s Smiles Behind the Shield Award recipient is Escambia County Florida Fire Marshal Joe Quinn.

Christina Smith cooked her lunch at the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners Central Office Complex.

“But I sat down to have a piece of cantaloupe while it was cooking and I just took a bite of it, and it just I guess I inhaled at the same time and it just slipped into my throat.”

Christina Smith

Christina said she tried to clear the fruit herself, but it would not budge. She said, “It was really scary actually. I knew she was choking, so right away when I saw her face and I saw how she was holding her neck, and I didn’t hear a sound, which right there tells me she’s not breathing.”

Speaking about the incident, Fire Marshal Joe Quinn said, “It was really scary actually. I knew she was choking, so right away when I saw her face and I saw how she was holding her neck, and I didn’t hear a sound, which right there tells me she’s not breathing.”

It was a situation neither of them said they’d ever experienced before.

“Even when I worked as a paramedic on the road for four years, I never ran into a choking victim.”

Fire Marshal Joe Quinn

But Fire Marshal Quinn would jump into action a second time later this Summer. People in the building told him a man wasn’t breathing correctly. Quinn said, “I started doing chest compressions the retired Navy corpsman started breathing the gentleman and as a team, we got the AED set up, kept doing CPR, analyzed it, then once when they told us to give it a shock, we shocked the patient and luckily he had a pulse come back.”

This is why we award Fire Marshal Joe Quinn our Smiles Behind the Shield award.

“I’m so grateful that he’s here and so is my family. I mean my Dad got emotional when I told him about it because he was just so thankful that he was there to save me.”

Christina Smith

WKRG News 5’s Dana Winter asked Quinn how it felt to hear Smith say that about him.

“A little emotional to be honest with you. I was just doing my job… I look at that one way, other people look at it a different way, but just hearing her say that is emotional for me. It made me feel good,” said Quinn.

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