Surveillance captures fast food worker saving elderly man with Heimlich maneuver

Fast food workers don't get enough credit
July 7, 2018 9:36 am Last Updated: July 7, 2018 11:31 am

Fast food workers aren’t usually thought of as heroes—but one employee has proved yet again that he can do far more than serve chicken sandwiches after he stepped up to save the day.

June 23 was a day like any other at the Southpark Meadows Chick-fil-A in Austin, Texas. But in the afternoon, one customer’s lunch almost turned deadly:

The customer started choking on his food.

(Chick-fil-A Southpark Meadows/Screenshot)

The whole scene was caught on surveillance footage. As the man started choking, he stood up and got the attention of a woman seated next to him, who jumped in to try the Heimlich maneuver.

Chick-fil-A employee Anita Duran saw this and realized despite the woman’s efforts, the maneuver wasn’t working.

“She was trying really hard, but I think he was maybe too heavy or something,” Duran told KVUE

(Chick-fil-A Southpark Meadows/Screenshot)

Luckily, she knew who to call. She ran over and got 23-year-old Hunter Harris, the restaurant’s team leader, to help the man.

“I ran over there to call Hunter, and he immediately came over here to help,” Duran said.

Harris stepped in and was able to save the man’s life.

“I stepped in and I took care of him,” Harris said. “I did what I could do, and it all worked out.”

Our own Hunter Harris stepped up and demonstrated quick life saving skills on Saturday June 23rd. Thanks to his skilled and sprightly actions our guest is alive and well today! #CFASouthparkMeadows #chickfilahero #teamhunter #savedatcfa #heimlichfila #backpatokay #backtowork

Posted by Chick-fil-A Southpark Meadows on Tuesday, June 26, 2018

How did Duran know to call Harris? Well, it turns out this is nothing new for the young employee: he’s actually saved someone from choking before.

“I knew that he knew the maneuvers to do the position and everything,” Duran said. “I told him he’s a hero.”

(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

While the restaurant hailed him as a hero, Harris was modest about the whole ordeal.

“I just made sure that he was okay,” he said. “We got him a fresh meal, and then he just went on his way.”

“It was a very intense situation and I was relieved once it happened,” Harris told KXAN.  “I knew there was nothing to be said between me and him. I did what I needed to do and he was OK and I just came back and continued my work.”

(KVUE/Screenshot)

But no one’s more proud of him than his dad—who also happens to own the Chick-fil-A. He knows that his son wouldn’t think twice about assisting someone.

“His character is to jump in and help when help is needed,” Jamie Harris told KVUE. “You could see that it was natural for him. Very proud of that.”

But Hunter denies it was anything extraordinary:  “I did what I think any of my coworkers would have done in that situation and ran to help,” he told TODAY Food, adding that he hopes the customer is “doing well.”

(KVUE/Screenshot)

It’s worth remembering that there is actually another hero to the story: the customer who stepped in to do the Heimlich. While Harris finished the job, she also didn’t think twice about jumping in to aid a random stranger.

Unfortunately, the restaurant doesn’t know who that woman was, but is hoping to find her contact info to thank her.