|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
||For More Information, Contact:
|March 24, 2006
||Coria Holland, Director of Communications
||617-727-5300, ext. 258
UXBRIDGE DISTRICT P.O. SAVES COLLEAGUE'S LIFE
On his second day
in his new position, Uxbridge District Court Probation
Officer II Jose Morales saved his colleague, Probation
Officer Marc Segalla, from choking to death by using the
Heimlich Maneuver. Morales learned this skill during American
Red Cross training offered by the Office of the Commissioner
of Probation's Training and Development Unit. The
unit is part of the Field Services Division.
Morales turned a corner in the Uxbridge Probation
Office and happened upon Segalla who was choking and had
turned blue. He immediately went into action and began
doing abdominal thrusts, also known as the Heimlich Maneuver.
"I tried hitting him on the back to
dislodge what he was choking on but it was unsuccessful.
He wasn't getting any air. He had turned blue. I
took the (Red Cross) training a year ago and it was unbelievable
how it just took over. I never thought I would be in a
position to save someone's life," Morales said
Morales started his new job at Uxbridge
District on March 13th. The choking incident took place
on March 15th in the morning. Morales transferred from
Worcester District Court, where he worked as a Probation
Officer for 17 years. Prior to his tenure at Worcester
District, Morales was a Probation Officer at Boston Municipal
Court -Roxbury Division for five years.
Segalla, a six-year Probation Officer, was
sitting at his desk eating a snack as he waited for court
"When court started, everyone was rushing
out and the office was empty. I rushed to finish my snack,
but swallowed it too quickly and it got lodged in my throat.
At first, I looked around for something to wash it down
but it was really stuck," Segalla recalled. "I
stepped out of my office and no one was there. I was gagging.
Jose saw me and came to my aid."
Uxbridge District Court Chief Probation Officer
Michael DiStefano marveled at Morales' response and
the fast work of two other Probation Officers Gale Maloney
and Jerry Mandeville who arrived at the scene in time to
call 911. Mandeville is another transferred employee who
formerly worked at Brockton District Court as a Probation
"Jose is a transfer and new to the
court. He was so thrilled to be here. He just stepped up
and went to the aid of the Probation Officer. Thank God
he had the OCP training. It was close enough, but it could
have been very serious," DiStefano said. "Jose
was very calm and collected. I am just amazed by this."