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A Halifax police officer and the ‘intense’ moments of saving a choking woman – Halifax

A Halifax police officer and the ‘intense’ moments of saving a choking woman - Halifax
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Sgt. Phil Power is grateful that he was in the right place at the right time.


Power, a Halifax Regional Police officer, was attending a work meeting at the Mic Mac Bar & Grill in Dartmouth late Tuesday afternoon when he was approached with some troubling news.

“One of the staff members came up to me and said, ‘Hey, there’s an emergency, we need your help right now,’” Power said. “They pointed over across the restaurant, I looked over, and unfortunately, there was a 75-year-old woman, totally unconscious, being held up by about five people.”


Power went over and asked what happened, and was told the woman was choking.

He began giving the woman Heimlich maneuvers, but they weren’t successful. He then put the woman on the ground and started performing CPR.

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“It was about five minutes of straight CPR. It was very intense,” he said.

Paramedics and fire personnel were called to the scene to take over. Just before they arrived, Power said, the woman opened her eyes.

“I could see that there was some response, which was fantastic because there was absolutely nothing to start with,” he said. “It was pretty encouraging, and a big sigh of relief.”

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The aftermath of the scene was emotional, and Power had to go to the washroom to compose himself.

“I literally looked down at my hands and I went, ‘Wow, we just brought someone back to life,’” he said.

Power said the woman is now recovering in hospital.

‘This isn’t just a one-off’

Jeff Landry, the front host manager of the Mic Mac Bar & Grill, said Power was a regular at the restaurant.

Some restaurant staff do have first aid training, but where Power was already on scene, Landry said it “just made more sense” for him to take control of the situation.

“He did a fantastic job,” said Landry, who added that everyone at the restaurant jumped into action to help the woman.

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“We’ve got a great community over here, lots of regulars that are always in,” he said. “(Power) wasn’t the only person that came over to offer help … multiple customers and staff just tried to do everything that they could to make sure she was alright.”

Landry said it was a traumatic experience, but was pleased to hear the woman was recovering in hospital.

“At that time, a lot of people were shook up, but (I’m) glad to hear everything’s going well now though.”

Area councillor Tony Mancini said Power is well-known in the community, and he wasn’t surprised by his act of heroism.

“We all live here in this community, and he volunteers in this community, and we all know him well,” he said. “So I’m not surprised that he was there and he took advantage of the opportunity to help somebody else.”

Mancini even gave Power a shout-out during a municipal budget committee meeting on Wednesday, prompting Halifax Mayor Mike Savage to thank him for his work.

But Power said incidents like these happen all the time.

“This isn’t just a one-off,” he said. “First responders do this every day, but we don’t really hear about it anymore.”

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He said medical and first-aid training is “crucial” for everyone to learn.

Power said people in his line of work see a lot of loss of life, and he was glad this story had a happy ending.

“To actually see a lifeless body and then you’re able to bring it back – there’s no words that can describe that feeling,” he said. “It’s the most amazing thing in the world.”

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