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Seneca County sheriff’s deputy assists choking man at Bills game

A Buffalo Bills fan will be around to enjoy Christmas this year, thanks in large part to the life-saving efforts of an off-duty Seneca County sheriff’s deputy.

Deputy Crystal Cottrell of Waterloo was at the Bills’ Dec. 17 game at New Era Field against the Miami Dolphins. She was with a small group of fans from the Waterloo area who drove to the game early that Sunday morning.

Kim Casasanta of Waterloo, who was with that group, observed an older man choking in the parking lot before the game.

“I realized he needed help immediately,” said Casasanta, who ran to get Cottrell. “She ran over to the man and was able to do the Heimlich maneuver in him. After several attempts, she was able to free his airway.”

Paramedics were called while she was performing the live-saving procedure, which involves sudden, strong pressure applied to the abdomen between the rib cage and navel, which forces air upward in an attempt to dislodge an obstruction.

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