GEAUGA COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) – A routine lunch break took an unexpected turn for Corrections Officer Scott Tyler.

“I started to panic when I couldn’t breathe,” Tyler said.

On February 15, Tyler started choking on a piece of steak, which was stuck in his throat for about 30 seconds. He said he tried to power it down, but that only made the situation worse.

“I turned to my partner Deputy (Michael) Scarniench and requested help,” Tyler said. “I’m very grateful that he was in there with me that day.”

The whole ordeal lasted for less than a minute, but the two corrections officers never panicked.

“It’s kind of scary to even see that situation – that, that could happen just that quick,” Geauga County Sheriff Scott Hildenbrand said. “Fortunately, they were both in there, they knew what to do.”

Sheriff Hildenbrand said if Deputy Scarniench weren’t there, Tyler would have had to ask an inmate for help, but luckily, help was at the ready.

Being properly trained on how to perform the Heimlich maneuver made all the difference.

“It’s a pretty easy maneuver, as you can see it’s pretty effective,” Hildenbrand said.

Sheriff Hildenbrand is giving Deputy Scarniench a certificate for his heroic act, saving his partner’s life. Tyler also plans on taking him to a nice restaurant to say thanks. 

“I told him I owe him a steak dinner,” Tyler said. “That’s what I was choking on so, I’m gonna take him for a steak dinner.”