Like many other people in the Hudson Valley, Pawling Fire Department Chief Everett White was gathered with family and friends to celebrate the holidays.

While at a gathering on Christmas Eve, a 77-year-old woman became distressed when a piece of food became lodged in her airway.

White was summoned to the kitchen where he confirmed that the woman was unable to breathe. He removed the patient from the crowded kitchen and began life-saving procedures.

While attempting to clear the airway, the patient went limp. White immediately employed the Heimlich procedure while another attendee called 911. The Heimlich proved successful and the patient was able to resume normal breathing.

Arriving medics checked the patient's vitals and determined that no further action was needed.

When recounting the event, a very humble White said "this is why I train as hard as I do."