Updated June 5, 2017

Home Page
Bio and contact info
Media reports that resulted from our efforts
The Sidebar (Peter's blog)
Got a tip?
 

NASCO founder/president John Hunsucker PhD training lifeguards

"These so-called medical experts. Screw 'em": NASCO's failed promotion of the Heimlich maneuver for drowning rescue

by Peter M. Heimlich
Leading first aid organizations and medical experts unanimously agree that the Heimlich maneuver (abdominal thrust) is ineffective and potentially dangerous as a method to revive a drowning victim. And to promote the treatment, my father (who knows nothing about the science of drowning) reportedly published case reports that range from dubious to outright fraud.

Click here for statements and reports published the U.S. Coast Guard, the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, the Institute of Medicine, and other organizations.

As reported by the Washington Post, the treatment has reportedly been associated with dozens of poor outcome cases, including kids. Per this June 2012 article, my father's nonprofit Heimlich Institute has even stopped promoting the treatment.

Nevertheless, from the mid-1990s until January 2016, a Houston-area company called the National Aquatic Safety Company (NASCO) -- self-described as "the third largest lifeguard certification agency for waterparks in the U.S." -- trained lifeguards to perform the treatment to revive drowning victims.

Per an editorial in the May 2012 edition of Aquatics International, the leading trade magazine for the pool and water park industry:
(There) are times when science must be paramount, particularly when going with our gut means using people as guinea pigs. That is essentially what (NASCO) has decided to do in its use of the Heimlich maneuver for drowning rescues.
After health departments in Utah, New Jersey, and Nevada reportedly informed NASCO that if the company did not drop "the Heimlich protocol," they would not be permitted to certify lifeguards in those states, NASCO complied. (Click the state names for related media reports.) In contrast, the Texas health department reportedly claimed it had no authority in the matter.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, on July 28, 2015 a lawsuit was filed against a NASCO client; click here for a copy of the police report and the complaint.
Parents of a 6-year-old boy who nearly drowned in a wave pool at Cowabunga Bay have sued the Henderson water park.

...It's unclear if the Heimlich maneuver was used during (the boy's) rescue. A Henderson police report said a lifeguard "administered chest thrusts" while swimming with the boy toward an exit ladder.
Per my blog, on January 27, 2016 the Houston Press reported:
For years, the Dickinson-based NASCO Aquatics, one of the nation's largest lifeguard certification companies taught a debunked rescue technique, even as other professional and medical organizations said it could further endanger drowning victims.

But NASCO has dropped the technique — a version of the Heimlich maneuver done while a drowning victim is still in the water — from its most recent training manual, which pleases one of NASCO's biggest critics, Peter Heimlich, whose father gave the abdominal-thrusting technique its name.
Via Aquatics Industry Finally Discontinues Heimlich Maneuver by Nate Traylor Aquatics International, February 3, 2016:
One of the nation’s largest lifeguard certification agencies has stopped teaching a controversial drowning rescue technique that critics alleged was ineffective and potentially dangerous.

The National Aquatic Safety Co. has long championed the Heimlich maneuver as an effective way to remove water from the lungs before initiating CPR on a drowning victim. Developed in the mid ’90s by NASCO founder John Hunsucker, the drowning-rescue version of the Heimlich called for the lifeguard to first administer abdominal thrusts on a drowning victim in the water before extrication for CPR.

The technique came under intense scrutiny in recent years as aquatic and medical professionals called the practice into question, claiming that it was ineffective and that it could further endanger those in need of rescue.

Despite the criticism and the headlines in the mainstream media, NASCO stuck to its guns, even after the Heimlich Institute stopped advocating that the maneuver be used to treat drowning victims in 2012.

...Another development may have forced the decision: In recent years, health departments in New Jersey, Utah and Nevada, threatened to strip NASCO of its certification to to do business in those states unless it stopped teaching the Heimlich as part of its drowning rescue protocol, according to local media reports.

“Presumably, NASCO finally dumped the protocol because it was affecting their bottom line,” said Peter Heimlich, son of inventor Dr. Henry Heimlich, and the most outspoken critic of using the maneuver to address drowning, in a statement to AI.

Hunsucker declined to comment for this article.

...As for (Peter) Heimlich and his wife, Karen, who’ve been on a crusade to dissuade the public from using his father’s technique, this is chapter they’re relieved to see closed. It’s believed NASCO was the last such agency to perform what many considered an ill-advised rescue maneuver.

“I doubt there is another company reckless enough to take it up,” he stated, “so this likely ends my father’s bizarre 40-year campaign to promote the treatment.”

Related media reports in chronological order

Letter to the Editor from B. Chris Brewster, President, International Life Saving Federation, Aquatics International magazine, July/August 2007

My greatest concern, however, is that while Hunsucker's article addresses the ineffectiveness of resuscitation, he and his company, National Aquatic Safety Co. (NASCO), continue to advocate use of the Heimlich maneuver for drowning. In this, they appear to stand alone be­cause it has long been rejected by inter­national consensus of the national resus­citation councils of the world
.
Fighting for Air: Drowning and the Heimlich Maneuver by Todd Spivak (cover story), Houston Press, October 11, 2007

NASCO is the largest and perhaps only lifeguard-certification agency in the country that teaches the Heimlich maneuver rather than cardiopulmonary resuscitation as a first response for drowning victims. a protocol shunned for years by the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association and warned against as potentially deadly by several leading drowning experts.

"The science is against it," says Dr. James Orlowski, chief of pediatrics at University Community Hospital in Tampa, Florida, who claims he has studied 30 cases where he says the Heimlich maneuver caused serious harm to drowning victims.

...John Hunsucker, a plainspoken, pipe-smoking 66-year-old, believes firmly nonetheless that the Heimlich maneuver will one day gain mainstream acceptance for drowning victims.

"Nobody knows more about water parks than me," he says. "Eventually I'll wear them down and everybody will be doing it."

In the meantime, Hunsucker plans to continue thumbing his nose at opponents.


"These so-called medical experts," he says in a gruff, laconic voice through tobacco-stained teeth. "Screw 'em. What do you want me to do, walk in lockstep?"

Swimming in Controversy - The Heimlich Maneuvers by Laurel Chesky, Austin Chronicle, January 23, 2009
"My father's a celebrity doctor who has been the subject of hundreds of stories, so I started pulling old articles," Peter (Heimlich) told me in an e-mail. "I quickly realized we'd turned up something serious, especially the 30-year promotion of the Heimlich maneuver for drowning rescue. Our research uncovered that my father fabricated case reports to promote his mad idea, which has been associated with the deaths of dozens of kids. I thought it was important to spread the word because I didn't want any more dead kids."
Local Lifeguards Trained In Dangerous Techniques (text version) by Bennett Cunningham, CBS-TV News, Dallas, July 27, 2009




Questions Continue To Rise About Houston-Based Lifeguard Program by Mike Giglio, Houston Press, August 24, 2009
Since mid-May, there have been three drownings at NASCO-client parks. In at least one, the Heimlich was used as the first step in resuscitation.

...Some NASCO clients -- such as the cities of Dallas and Rowlett, which recently came under fire for hiring the company to train their lifeguards -- have attempted to distance themselves from controversy by stating that they use NASCO training but not the Heimlich (Dallas) or use the Heimlich only when transporting the victim from the water (Rowlett).

...The Heimlich was not used in an August 1 drowning in Sandusky, Ohio, according to press reports. A spokeswoman at El Paso's Wet N' Wild Water World, where a 14-year-old boy drowned in May, did not respond to requests for comment.

Andy Maurek, operations manager at the Water World in Denver, Colo., where a 48-year-old man drowned on July 21, says his park follows NASCO protocols directly -- and that it did so in this case.

"We did the Heimlich while we were in the water. When we pulled him out, we began our CPR procedure," (said Maurek).
Doubts raised about Kalahari lifeguard trainers, Sandusky (OH) Register, May 24, 2010
Kalahari's Sandusky and Wisconsin Dells facilities are both listed as NASCO clients...Being trained by NASCO, however, the resort's lifeguards are presumably taught to do the Heimlich maneuver for five compressions before initiating CPR...
Analysis and Rebuttal of Development of an In-Water Intervention in a Lifeguard Protocol by Peter Wernicki, Peter Chambers, Roy Fielding, Terri Lees, David Markenson, Francesco Pia, and Linda Quan, International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education, February 2011

We review the paper by (John) Hunsucker and (Scott) Davison published in the International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education in 2010. The authors' two-part goal was to describe a protocol they named "in-water intervention" (IWI) that uses abdominal thrusts (ATs) and to report on its effectiveness at assisting drowning victims in waterparks. We identify serious shortcomings in the paper's methodology, interpretation and use of the literature, and ethical principles. We conclude that their primary assertions were unsubstantiated by the evidence they presented.


NoVa parks authority teaches lifeguards discredited Heimlich maneuver (UPDATE: Authority discards Heimlich) by Tom Jackman, The Washington Post, June 3, 2011

...The list of experts who reject the Heimlich maneuver (for drowing rescue) is lengthy: The American Red Cross; the United States Lifesaving Association; the American Heart Association; the Institute of Medicine; the International Life Saving Federation and many experienced doctors and academics have strongly inveighed against doing "abdominal thrusts" for drowning victims.

...Dr. James Orlowski said he has documented nearly 40 cases where rescuers performing the Heimlich maneuver have caused complications for the victim. Orlowski is chief of pediatrics and pediatric intensive care at University Community Hospital in Tampa.

...One of the most vehement critics of the Heimlich maneuver for drowning victims is Peter Heimlich, Henry Heimlich's son. He has created a website which extensively documents his father's supposed missteps, including allegedly taking false credit for creating the Heimlich maneuver, and calls the use of the maneuver for drowning "a 30-year medical atrocity."

Heimlich said that the media "have incorrectly written that there's a "controversy" associated with the treatment. In fact, in the medical community, it's my father vs. everyone else. That's not a controversy, that's one celebrity doctor -- someone who hasn't worked in a hospital since 1976 and has no background in drowning except for his claims promoting the Heimlich maneuver -- making unsupported claims."

John Hunsucker: Still Making Waves With Controversial Lifeguard Classes by Richard Connelly, Houston Press, June 2, 2011

Heimlich, Dangerous? Experts discredit maneuver by Eric S. Peterson, Salt Lake City Weekly, June 22, 2011

Paso Robles water park lifeguards use discredited Heimlich maneuver by Karlee Prazak, CalCoast News, August 22, 2011



Dangerous Maneuvers by Kendra Kozen, Senior Editor, Aquatics International magazine, May 2012:

Chances are, you've heard of the Heimlich maneuver. Since Dr. Henry Heimlich first introduced it in 1974, the abdominal thrust technique known as the "Heimlich maneuver" has become part of the popular lexicon, synonymous with saving lives.

Today, it is widely recognized as part of appropriate protocol to save choking victims.


But aquatics professionals may have been hearing about the Heimlich in another context: drowning rescue. That's largely thanks to Henry Heimlich himself and one paragon of aquatics, Dr. John Hunsucker, founder of the National Aquatic Safety Co.

Recently, Hunsucker published  data claiming that his protocols, which include the Heimlich, have shown dramatic results in saving drowning victims.

However, medical reports supporting use of the Heimlich on drowning victims is highly suspect. For years, a cadre of experts has refuted Heimlich's original claims that the technique should be used in drowning. Today, Dr. Heimlich's own son is perhaps his biggest critic. Peter Heimlich, along with his wife, Karen, has been investigating Dr. Heimlich's work since 2002. They have started a Website, medfraud.info, to bring to light what Peter calls his father's "dangerous, thoroughly discredited medical claims."

Science Fiction by Gary Thill, Editor in Chief, Aquatics International magazine, May 2012:
(There) are times when science must be paramount, particularly when going with our gut means using people as guinea pigs. That is essentially what (NASCO) has decided to do in its use of the Heimlich maneuver for drowning rescues.
Heimlich Maneuver for Drowning Victims: Progress in Ending It? by Richard Connelly, Houston Press, May 21, 2012

Now, (Peter Heimlich) reports, (Cincinnati's) Heimlich Institute "has finally quit circulating my father's dangerous, thoroughly-discredited medical claims."The institute's website has, he says, "deleted its main pages recommending the Heimlich maneuver as an effective treatment for drowning rescue...."As we reported, one of the leading proponents was John Hunsucker, a former UH professor who "owns and serves as president of the National Aquatic Safety Company, or NASCO, the third-largest lifeguard certification agency for water parks in the country, which he runs out of his house in Dickinson."

Water Park Safety by Brenda Flanagan, FOX-TV I-Team reporter, New York/New Jersey, July 10, 2012. (This is the first report in which the Heimlich Institute confirmed that the organization has ceased promoting the use of the Heimlich maneuver for drowning rescue.)




Lagoon lifeguards will no longer use Heimlich maneuver by Mark Saal, Standard Examiner, Ogden, Utah, May 8, 2014


Beginning this year, lifeguards at Lagoon-A-Beach will not use the lower abdominal thrusts as a resuscitation method, after the State of Utah determined the technique didn't meet required standards.

Late last year, the Utah Department of Health denied an application from the National Aquatic Safety Company to continue to train and certify lifeguards at two Utah parks -- Lagoon-A-Beach, in Farmington, and Cowabunga Bay, in Draper.

After NASCO agreed to exclude abdominal thrust training for its Utah clients, the state again certified it.

Texas Lifeguards Are Still Taught Potentially Harmful Technique by Craig Malisow, May 28, 2014
(Peter) Heimlich wrote to Dr. David Lakey, the commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, this month, asking that the agency look into all NASCO-trained facilities to see if lifeguards are receiving training that truly is equivalent to the American Red Cross. (Heimlich made it clear that he has "no knowledge or concerns regarding any other aspects of NASCO's operations" and only limited his concern to the abdominal thrust issue).

Heimlich also advised Lakey of a 2013 decision by the Utah Department of Health not to allow NASCO to certify lifeguards in Utah, because the abdominal thrust protocol did not meet that state's Red Cross equivalency mandate.

"After careful analysis, we find that the training offered by NASCO is not equivalent to the Red Cross," a Utah health official wrote NASCO. "We find that the evidence presented is not sufficient to make a change that deviates from national standards and therefore does not meet the rule standard which requires equivalency."

...Texas also requires American Red Cross equivalency, but a Texas Department of State Health Services spokeswoman told us in an email that it's up to "the individual facility owners or operators to determine if the lifeguards they hired have training and certification that is equivalent to [the Red Cross]."

Spokeswoman Christine Mann also wrote that "One possibility for addressing Mr. Heimlich's desire for NASCO to modify its training may be with the CDC. The CDC is developing a draft Model Aquatic Health Code that might address resuscitation techniques. However, I would verify this with the CDC." (We're not sure what difference that would make, since, in Texas, it's still up to pool operators to decide what's equivalent to the American Red Cross).

When we shared Mann's response with (Peter) Heimlich, he told us via email: "Based on the DSHS statement, there's a hole in the state public safety net. But instead of addressing and perhaps improving the situation, Dr. Lakey's agency simply passes the buck to the CDC. Don't families who swim in Texas public pools and water parks deserve better than that?

Lifeguards trained in controversial procedure by Cindy Weightman, WBGO-FM, Newark, NJ, June 30, 2014
Dr. Peter Wernicki is a member of the American Red Cross Science Advisory Council.

"Using the Heimlich maneuver to resuscitate drowning victims) is not supported by any scientific body throughout the world. There are protocols that have been developed by the American Red Cross, the International LifeSaving Committee and the American Heart Associationand those protocols are based in science. Use of the Heimlich Maneuver is not," Wernicki said.

...Barbara Caracci is the Director of Program Development and Training for First Aid Programs at the National Safety Council.  She says the Heimlich Maneuver should never be used in drowning situations, especially when someone is unconscious.

"Absolutely not, because the reason for the person's unresponsiveness has nothing to do with airway obstruction, which is what abdominal thrusts are for. In the case of someone who is drowning, they need CPR and they need it as soon as possible."
Lifeguard training company won't abandon use of controversial technique by Joel Eisenbaum, KPRC-TV News (Houston), July 11, 2014



Clip of NASCO founding president John Hunsucker PhD cussing out Houston reporter


Thrust into the deep end -- City slow to respond to questions about pool lifesaving policy by Ian White, The Texas City Post, January 31, 2014
Texas City to Host Questionable International Lifeguard Training Program by Craig Malisow, Houston Press, January 2, 2015
"According to Wikipedia, 'quackery is the promotion of unproven or fraudulent medical practices,'" Peter Heimlich told us in an email. "That's a perfect description of my father's 40-year campaign to hype 'the Heimlich' for drowning rescue. And the results aren't pretty. According to the Washington Post, besides being thoroughly discredited, its use has been associated with dozens of poor outcome cases.
Cowabunga Bay fined for lifeguard numbers after near drowning by Michelle Iracheta, Las Vegas Review-Journal, June 27, 2015

Cowabunga Bay's lifeguards are trained by the National Aquatic Safety Co., a Houston-based agency that uses an in-water lifesaving technique often referred to as the Heimlich maneuver.

At least one other state has required NASCO to remove the Heimlich maneuver, also known as abdominal thrusts, from its training manuals.

There's no indication that's happened in Nevada.

In a letter addressed to John Hunsucker, the president of NASCO, the State of New Jersey Department of Health said some of the company's training techniques -- specifically the "in-water-intervention protocol," which specifies the use of abdominal thrusts on an unconscious drowning victim -- were recently found to be scientifically baseless.

The New Jersey health department withdrew recognition of NASCO's lifeguard training course until it issued a "NASCO New Jersey Textbook" without the technique, according to the letter.

"After they provided a NJ specific Lifeguard Training Manual, we reinstated recognition of their certification for NJ lifeguards," Timothy Smith, acting program manager for the New Jersey Department of Health, wrote in an email.

But NASCO's main "Lifeguard Textbook," revised in 2014 and shown on its website, still contains the in-water-intervention protocol.

Bamboozled: Breakwater Beach security breach puts hundreds of employee documents online by Karin Price Mueller, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, July 8, 2015:

Hundreds of documents containing personal information of some employees at Jenkinson's Breakwater Beach Waterpark at Casino Pier in Seaside Heights have been available online to anyone who clicks in the right place, Bamboozled has learned.
The documents include copies of Social Security cards, driver's licenses, birth certificates, passports, student IDs, tax forms, seasonal work agreements, minor consent forms and employment eligibility forms from the Department of Homeland Security.

...(Peter) Heimlich has blogged about the National Aquatic Safety Company (NASCO), a Texas-based lifeguard training firm, which refused to rewrite the training books. But then, Heimlich won the fight in Utah and also in New Jersey, where NASCO trains the lifeguard staff at four water parks, including Breakwater Beach.

Earlier this week, Heimlich checked the Breakwater Beach site to see if the employee manual had been updated. He found the updated manual, but he also came across the personnel information.
"It couldn't have been easier (to find)" he said.
Water park lifeguards no longer certified by Michelle Iracheta, Las Vegas Review-Journal, July 27, 2015:
If you were planning a trip to Cowabunga Bay on Tuesday, you may want to call ahead.

Many of the Henderson water park's lifeguards are no longer certified to work there, according to officials with the Nevada Health and Human Services Department and the Southern Nevada Health District.

It was unclear late Monday whether there would enough lifeguards available for the park to open for business.

"We are doing everything we can to quickly rectify the situation," Jennifer Bradley, a spokeswoman for Cowabunga Bay, said Monday night.

Public records obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal show the Health and Human Services' Public and Behavioral Health Division has withdrawn recognition of the lifeguard certification courses taught by Houston-based National Aquatic Safety Co., or NASCO.

That's the company that trains Cowabunga Bay's aquatic safety staff.

In a letter dated July 16 and addressed to NASCO President John Hunsucker, Nevada's chief medical officer, Dr. Tracey Green, said the state will no longer recognize a section of the company's textbook that teaches the in-water-intervention protocol, known as the Heimlich maneuver, as a way to prevent drowning. It's not based on "relevant scientific literature," Green said.
Cowabunga Bay stays open after pledge to update lifeguard training manual by Michelle Iracheta, Las Vegas Review-Journal, July 28, 2015:
Cowabunga Bay's lifeguard training is recognized again in Nevada after health officials and park operators scrambled Tuesday to determine whether their certifications were valid.

The Texas company that trains the Henderson park's lifeguards promised the state Health and Human Services' Public and Behavioral Health Division that it would create a Nevada-specific manual that excludes a controversial in-water intervention protocol known as the Heimlich maneuver.
Lack of lifeguards cited in Cowabunga Bay lawsuit over near drowning by Michele Iracheta, Las Vegas Review Journal, July 29, 2015 -- click here for a copy of the police report and the complaint:
Parents of a 6-year-old boy who nearly drowned in a wave pool at Cowabunga Bay have sued the Henderson water park.

Cowabunga Bay did not have enough lifeguards on staff on May 27, when the boy was under water "for a lengthy period of time," the lawsuit filed late Tuesday in Clark County District Court says. Peter Gardner and Christian Gardner, of Henderson, said their son Leland spent weeks in the hospital for neurological damage and now requires 24-hour care.

...Las Vegas attorney Donald Campbell, who is representing the Gardners, said reports from the Southern Nevada Health District back up his clients' accusations.

...Cowabunga Bay has recently had other lifeguard-related trouble. This week certifications were briefly invalided after the Nevada Health and Human Services' Public and Behavioral Health Division stripped recognition from the Texas-based company that trains the park's lifeguards.

After evaluating the aquatic safety courses the National Aquatic Safety Co., or NASCO, teaches, the state determined its controversial in-water-intervention protocol, which specifies the use of the Heimlich maneuver, was "not supported by relevant scientific literature."

...NASCO told the state Monday it would remove the in-water-intervention protocol from its teaching manual within three days.

It's unclear if the Heimlich maneuver was used during Leland's rescue. A Henderson police report said a lifeguard "administered chest thrusts" while swimming with the boy toward an exit ladder.

Local Lifeguard Training Company No Longer Teaching Heimlich Maneuver by staff reporter Craig Malisow, Houston Press, January 27, 2016:
For years, the Dickinson-based NASCO Aquatics, one of the nation's largest lifeguard certification companies taught a debunked rescue technique, even as other professional and medical organizations said it could further endanger drowning victims.

But NASCO has dropped the technique — a version of the Heimlich maneuver done while a drowning victim is still in the water — from its most recent training manual, which pleases one of NASCO's biggest critics, Peter Heimlich, whose father gave the abdominal-thrusting technique its name.

NASCO founder John Hunsucker swore by the technique, even as the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, the United States Lifeguard Coalition, and the International Life Saving Federation. Most medical and aquatic experts have stated that applying the Heimlich maneuver to a drowning victim delays CPR and could cause a victim to aspirate vomit into the lungs. 
Until just recently, Hunsucker's response to the experts has been short and sweet: "Screw 'em."
...Peter Heimlich shared an email of his own, telling us:

"I'm relieved that NASCO has finally pulled the plug on its reckless 'Heimlich for drowning' protocol. Experts have said that for decades NASCO was conducting what amounted to an unsupervised medical experiment using unsuspecting swimmers at their client water parks. Long after prominent medical experts and leading first aid organizations had thoroughly dismissed the treatment as useless and potentially lethal, NASCO persisted. Even after my father's Heimlich Institute stopped advocating the treatment, NASCO wouldn't stop.

On the bright side, NASCO was the last holdout, so this effectively marks the end of my father's bizarre 40-year campaign to promote the treatment."

Aquatics Industry Finally Discontinues Heimlich Maneuver by Nate Traylor Aquatics International, February 3, 2016:
One of the nation’s largest lifeguard certification agencies has stopped teaching a controversial drowning rescue technique that critics alleged was ineffective and potentially dangerous.

The National Aquatic Safety Co. has long championed the Heimlich maneuver as an effective way to remove water from the lungs before initiating CPR on a drowning victim. Developed in the mid ’90s by NASCO founder John Hunsucker, the drowning-rescue version of the Heimlich called for the lifeguard to first administer abdominal thrusts on a drowning victim in the water before extrication for CPR.

The technique came under intense scrutiny in recent years as aquatic and medical professionals called the practice into question, claiming that it was ineffective and that it could further endanger those in need of rescue.

Despite the criticism and the headlines in the mainstream media, NASCO stuck to its guns, even after he Heimlich Institute stopped advocating that the maneuver be used to treat drowning victims in 2012.

...Another development may have forced the decision: In recent years, health departments in New Jersey, Utah and Nevada, threatened to strip NASCO of its certification to to do business in those states unless it stopped teaching the Heimlich as part of its drowning rescue protocol, according to local media reports.

“Presumably, NASCO finally dumped the protocol because it was affecting their bottom line,” said Peter Heimlich, son of inventor Dr. Henry Heimlich, and the most outspoken critic of using the maneuver to address drowning, in a statement to AI.

Hunsucker declined to comment for this article.

...As for (Peter) Heimlich and his wife, Karen, who’ve been on a crusade to dissuade the public from using his father’s technique, this is chapter they’re relieved to see closed. It’s believed NASCO was the last such agency to perform what many considered an ill-advised rescue maneuver.

“I doubt there is another company reckless enough to take it up,” he stated, “so this likely ends my father’s bizarre 40-year campaign to promote the treatment.”


"Supervisors Leadership Training with NASCO Instructors Karlee Darby and Brian Cole" (Century Pool Management)