Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Jacob E. Vieira holds his Certificate of Lifesaving Award, flanked by state Rep. RI Rep. Robert A. Nardolillo (left) and Col. Richard F. Hill, Rhode Island Wing commander.
Photo by Senior Member Chase S. Boni
2nd Lt. Robert M. Gubala
Public Affairs Officer
Rhode Island Wing
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Jacob A. Vieira of the 102nd Composite Squadron has been recognized with Civil Air Patrol’s Certificate of Lifesaving Award for his role in assisting a man choking at the restaurant where the cadet works.
Vieira was working at Bliss Bros. Dairy in Attleboro, Massachusetts, on a Sunday evening when he heard a woman calling, “Is anyone here a doctor?” Upon arriving at her table, he noticed the woman’s husband choking on his meal.
At that point the cadet leapt to the man’s aid. He grabbed the patron and began performing the Heimlich maneuver, dislodging the object stuck in the man’s throat on the first attempt and clearing his airway.
The entire restaurant then erupted in applause, and the customer was overjoyed.
State Rep. Robert A. Nardolillo, a CAP major in the Rhode Island Wing’s Legislative Squadron, joined Col. Richard Hill, Rhode Island Wing commander, in presenting the award during a gathering at the Hotel Viking in Newport.
"This experience is truly humbling," said Vieira, who has devoted extensive hours to working as a lifeguard and to instruction in CPR and basic first aid courses. "I'm grateful that all my training paid off.”
“I can't imagine what would've happened if nobody was there to help him,” he added.
The cadet’s mother, Nancy Vieira, said that her son "never ceases to amaze me. I know he would do anything to help someone in need.”