LifePath CPR Trainer Saves Life

"Stay calm and be confident" ...advice from a hero

Accidents happen when you least expect them. But staying calm, being confident and relying on training could mean the difference between life and death.

Amanda Norris teaches this lesson every week at the LifePath Agency in Bethlehem. As Quality Enhancement/Training Specialist, Amanda is part of a team that biannually trains, certifies and prepares more than 850 employees in CPR and First Aid – ensuring preparedness in case of emergency.

Recently, Amanda’s preparedness was put to a test of her own.

On June 1, Amanda, her husband, children and extended family members were celebrating their 4-year old son’s birthday at Red Robin Restaurant on Airport Road in Allentown.

“They give free balloons and sing ‘Happy Birthday,’” Amanda said.

When the celebratory meal was over, Amanda and family were making their way out of the restaurant when she heard a distinct and awful sound.

“I looked up and there was a gentleman clutching his throat and throwing himself across the booth and onto the floor,” Amanda said. “His family was standing around him, looking shocked and not sure at all what to do.”

The man was panicked and looked frightened. Amanda recognized the look and immediately knew he was in danger.

Quickly assessing the scene, Amanda rushed to the man’s side and asked if she could help. His terrified family quickly answered with a “yes.”

Amanda sprang into action and started to give back blows to the man. At the fifth wallop, the man started to cough and the food was dislodged.

The man and his family were grateful for Amanda’s quick response and thanked her.

According to the National Safety Council, 5,051 people died from choking in 2015, making it the fourth leading cause of unintentional injury deaths, with food-choking incidents a major contributor among children and the elderly ( and

“This was my first time ever giving back blows in real life,” Amanda said. “I’m glad I was there to help.”

“Be confident in your skill, rely on your training and stay calm. Be sure to take action – you may be the only one who does and could save that person’s life.” – That’s the advice Amanda has been giving to her students upon completion of their CPR/First Aid certification.

Amanda’s advice kicked in on June 1 – and she saved a life.

Amanda was 5 months pregnant.



  • Inability to speak, cough or breathe.
  • Grasping at the throat – the universal choking sign of distress.
  • Very weak cough, practically no sound made.
  • Noisy or high-pitched sounds.
  • Bluish lips or skin.


  • Introduce yourself, state that you are certified in CPR/First Aid.
  • Ask for permission to assist.
  • Begin with back blows.
  • If back blows do not dislodge the item, begin five abdominal thrusts.

Always be aware of your surroundings, recognize signs of choking and use the  proper techniques. You could one day be needed to save a life, too! 

written by Annette Kaiser