ROCKAWAY, N.J. (PIX11) — A restaurant employee is being called the “Hoagie Hero.”
Danielle Buccielli, 21, was working at PrimoHoagies in Rockaway Townsquare in New Jersey when she saved a customer who was choking. The dramatic moment Thursday afternoon was captured on the store’s security video.
Buccielli told PIX11 News she was at the cash register when she saw the woman clutching her stomach and gasping for air. Within seconds, Buccielli ran out from behind the counter and performed the Heimlich Maneuver on the woman.
“I think it was all the adrenaline, the muscle memory, just, you know, what you have to do, and you do it,” Buccielli said.
Buccielli was actually trained in the Heimlich at 15 years old when she took a public safety class. She also joined her local fire department at 16. Luckily for the customer, Buccielli was stationed up front at the cashier, as she normally works in the back.
Buccielli’s coworker Lizzy Sengle said Danielle deserves all the praise.
“It happened so quick, you don’t even realize it, then you watch back and, you’re like, it’s the split second between life and death,” Sengle told PIX11 News.
The woman thanked Buccielli for saving her life but declined to be interviewed by PIX11.
As for being called a hero?
Buccielli said, “I don’t do it to be a hero, just to help people; it’s the most important thing.”
PrimoHoagies is recognizing Buccielli’s good deed with a $1,000 reward.