IBEW Local 48 member uses Heimlich to save life of colleague


Kim Gilliam

The IBEW Local 48 Safety Committee presented member Kim Gilliam with a special lifesaving recognition award at the Jan. 25 general membership union meeting.

Gilliam, a general foreman for EC Company, is credited with saving the life of union brother Warren Tokuhisa on Nov. 7. The two were eating lunch in the general foreman’s trailer at Intel when Tokuhisa began choking on a bagel after taking a drink of juice.

“He started choking really hard, then he slumped over and his head hit the table,” said Gilliam, who yelled out to two other general foremen — Local 48 members Dave Parker and Allan Minor — eating lunch in the trailer.

Gilliam then picked Tokuhisa off his chair and immediately began administering the Heimlich maneuver in an effort to clear his airway. On the second thrust, a chunk of bagel dislodged from Tokuhisa’s throat.

“He came right to and asked what happened,” said Gilliam.

Gilliam, Parker and Minor proceeded to tell him the whole story.

Tokuhisa was taken to the nurse’s station, then sent to his doctor for a complete  checkup.  He is fully recovered.
Gilliam told the Labor Press the Heimlich maneuver was fresh in his mind because two weeks earlier EC Company had conducted one of its regular first aid classes for foremen.

Gilliam has been a member of  Local 48 for 28 years, starting as an apprentice in 1984. He has worked for EC Company since 1991.

For his lifesaving efforts, Gilliam received a $200 gift certificate for Carhartt gear from Local 48’s Safety Committee, and during their weekly safety meeting at Intel, Hoffman Construction presented him with a jacket in front of the entire 2,000 person workforce.


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