Firefighter cadet uses his training to save his 11-year-old brother

Teenager used Heimlich maneuver to stop his brother from choking

By Liane Morejon - Reporter

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - A member of the Coral Gables Fire Department's cadet program, Muhammad Sial is a good guy to have around when you're in trouble. 

But he never imagined he'd have to use his lifesaving skills on his 11-year-old brother, saving him from choking to death at the dinner table. 

"I just started choking and I couldn't breathe and I thought I was gonna die," said Muhammad's brother, Saeed.

Muhammad said his mom panicked and she started hitting him on the back, "but that wasn't working because he wasn't even wheezing," Muhammad said.

Muhammad said he did the Heimlich maneuver, grabbing Saeed from behind and squeezing him across the chest upwards to dislodge the food on which he was choking.

"I don't know what my mom was doing but when my brother stepped in I felt confident," Saeed said. “If he wasn't there, I would've died."

Muhammad's instructor, Ishmael Roig of the Coral Gables Fire Department, said he didn't even find out about Muhammad's heroic feat until weeks after it happened.

"If he hadn't learned what he learned here, this would've had a totally different outcome," Roig said.

Muhammad just graduated from TERRA Environmental Research Institute and is now attending Miami 

Dade Academy of Fire Science. Saeed, who will start sixth grade Rockway Middle School this fall, is thinking about possibly becoming a fire cadet just like his brother.

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