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State trooper saves life of choking man

Posted February 3, 2011
Updated February 4, 2011

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— While eating lunch at the Cary Towne Center food court on Thursday, state Highway Patrol Lt. Ken Kubas helped save a life. 

Kubas, a trained emergency medical technician, and other members of the patrol noticed a commotion a couple tables over. Tyler Keehn, 20, was choking on a piece of food, and his mother was attempting to dislodge the food from his mouth. 

Keehn, who is mentally and physically handicapped, was turning blue and on the verge of losing consciousness when Kubas performed the Heimlich maneuver. 

"I actually performed it, about 15 Heimlich thrusts, in order for the piece of food to become dislodged. When it did, he started breathing normally again," Kubas said. 

Keehn's mother said that she was about to call for help when the troopers arrived. She called Kubas a "godsend" and said her son is doing fine. 

Kubas, a trooper for the past 17 years, doesn't think of himself as a hero.

"I'm just doing my job and am glad I could help somebody in need," he said. "That's what we were supposed to do, and that's what we're trained to do. It just comes second nature." Trooper saves life of choking man Trooper saves life of choking man

Kubas said troopers go through CPR training every two years, and he's only had to do chest compressions on a victim once. He's also one of several troopers trained as an EMT.

He said with that training, he didn't have to think twice about stepping in to help.

"I think as much training with CPR and EMT, it just becomes second nature," he said. 

Of the 1,800 sworn troopers in the state, 117 are certified EMTs, and 15 are paramedics. 


This story is closed for comments.

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  • 2SWEETBOYS Feb 4, 2011


  • wwyoud Feb 4, 2011

    Rocker96, maybe the troopers have finally decided to start publicizing all the good things they do, instead of staying quiet.

  • bjm011366 Feb 4, 2011

    good story.

  • nanasix Feb 4, 2011

    Wonderful job...glad he was there to save the boys life. I'd sure love to see EMT training be made a part of all law enforcement training, after all, they're usually the first ones on the scene, and the training could save many lives. Good job officer, I'm proud of you.

  • Journey985 Feb 4, 2011

    ". Unfortunately, it is not on the first page" - edgar 709 - It was, last night and most of the morning. Give it a rest would you? The officer did an amazing job and it's nice to hear about it. Be happy it was not ANOTHER negative story!

  • mikeyj Feb 4, 2011

    I have been told I have a "warped" sense of humor. This is awesome. There was and is still a saying: "there is never a cop around when you need one". Great JOB!

  • maydaymanny Feb 4, 2011

    like hearing good stories :)

  • babbleon Feb 4, 2011

    Good job!

    Every time I have needed a police officer, they've been there. I really appreciate the service they give.

  • censorbait Feb 4, 2011

    You read about a few bad apples but the state troopers are by and large and pretty good group. Great job Trooper Kubus.

  • iwasjustsaying Feb 4, 2011

    Love to hear good news!!!