LAWRENCE (CBS) – Bryan Boutin knows he’s alive today because he happened to be around a bunch of firefighters the other night, including his father, Leo Boutin.

“I think they’re heroes. I wouldn’t be alive today if not for them,” says Bryan.

Last Thursday night, at the British Club in Lawrence, the 53-year-old and his father Leo, a retired firefighter, went to have dinner at an annual holiday party.

There were several hundred people there, when Bryan began choking on a piece of meat. His father recognized his son was choking, and started the Heimlich maneuver.

“But it wasn’t working,” says Leo, even though he cracked six of Bryan’s ribs doing the maneuver.

That’s when three off duty Lawrence firefighters and one retired firefighter, Mike Delaney, jumped in to help. “They got Bryan on his side, and one opened up his mouth and saw something, and pulled out the meat,” said Leo.

Lawrence Fire Chief Brian Moriarty said, “We train day in and we train day out, first aid, medical, fire and it comes with them, it doesn’t stay in the station.”

Chief Moriarty says he’ll nominate all four firefighters for the state’s “Firefighter of the Year” award.

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