COLUMBUS, Georgia – A Chick-fiil-A employee in Columbus, Georgia, is being deemed a hero after rescuing a choking child in the drive-thru line, the company says.
The incident happened Monday, Oct. 12, just after a busy lunch rush at the Chick-fil-A Manchester Expressway restaurant, according to the company’s social media post.
Zack “Cowboy” Kokenzie heard frantic cries coming from an SUV just outside of the drive-thru window. A father was also seen rushing to the back of the SUV, indicating something was very wrong, the restaurant said.
Kokenzie, who is an Eagle Scout and is CPR-certified, went toward the SUV. That’s when he found the child’s father and another customer trying to save a boy that was choking in the rear seat, according to the restaurant’s release. The cries were coming from other children in the back seat.
The seatbelt became wrapped around the child’s windpipe. Another customer got out of their vehicle to assist and that’s when Kokenzie’s fellow team member, Zachary Bullock, also stepped in and gave him a pair of scissors through the back window of the SUV.
Kokenzie was then able to cut the child free from the seatbelt in just seconds, the restaurant said.
“Zack and our team acted quickly in rescuing a child from a life-threatening situation. I am proud of Zack, Justin, Zachary B. and our team for their quick thinking and quick responses. This could have been far worse, but Zack and others were in the right place, with the right training and the right attitude to potentially save the life of one of our customers. We are glad everyone is alright," said Store Owner Alex Vann in a statement.
The company says Kokenzie was calm under the pressure and was able to help save the child’s life.
The restaurant’s dining room is currently closed, due to the COVID-19 pandemic; however, its drive-thru is still staying busy.
Chick-fil-A staff says it will continue to have multiple team members around the building to help provide quick service.