‘You’re a Hero, Man’: Off-Duty Firefighter Saves Fan Choking at Nats Park

An off-duty firefighter is being hailed as a hero after he rescued a man who choked at a Washington Nationals game Wednesday in Nationals Park.

Todd Covington, a firefighter visiting from Kansas City, was watching the Nationals take on the San Diego Padres when baseball fans began shouting that someone was choking and needed help. Covington jumped over two rows of seats and ran to the man.

“I whispered in his ear, as you always do, ‘Are you actually choking?’ He did nod, and he was unable to move air,” Covington told News4.

Covington banged on the man’s back to try to dislodge whatever got caught and then did the Heimlich maneuver. The man was OK and gave Covington a big hug, said Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan. He was sitting nearby and thanked Covington.

“You’re a hero, man. You saved his life,” Paulsen told him.

Covington said he was in town because he visits MLB ballparks with his son. He said he wasn’t “looking for no recognition or whatever. Just trying to help out another human being.”

Paulsen said he was grateful for Covington’s help and expertise.

“Thank God he was in the right spot at the right time,” he said.

The Nats beat the Padres 5-3 and thanked Covington with a home run ball, he said.