(Marietta, Ga. – May 9, 2016)
The quick actions of a financial administrator at Chattahoochee Technical College is what saved the life of a Marietta woman who started choking while on the job late last month. In recognition of her heroic actions, Chattahoochee Technical College Police Chief Charles Spann honored Eilla Torres, of Powder Springs, with a Lifesaving Award on May 9.
Torres is the first civilian to receive a Lifesaving Award from campus police, as it is one of the department’s highest honors.
“The Lifesaving Award is bestowed upon those whose actions result in saving the life of another human. By administrating the Heimlich maneuver, Ms. Torres saved her co-worker’s life. Her actions are commendable,” Spann said.
The incident occurred on Chattahoochee Technical College’s Marietta Campus on April 20. The choking victim, Barbara Lyle, said she had been snacking on crackers in her office when one became lodged in the back of her throat. The Marietta resident, who works as a financial aid specialist, said she attempted to cough it up but soon was unable to breathe.
That’s when she walked over to Torres’ office – hands around her neck.
“She was just standing there. Her lips began to turn blue and that’s when I realized that she couldn’t breathe,” Torres said.
Torres, who is CPR certified, recognized the signs of choking and sprang into action. She told Lyle to put her hands above her head, and, after a couple quick, upward thrusts the object was forced out. It was a moment neither Lyle nor Torres will ever forget.
“I am just so thankful that she was there and that she tried. She saved my life,” Lyle said.