By day, Pavel Fesyuk is an exterminator. By night, he’s a mixed martial arts fighter.
Pavel works for Town and Country Pest Solutions, a family-owned business in Rochester, New York, that follows a simple rule: “Love God, Love People, Serve Others, Tell Everyone.”
On Tuesday, Pavel was on his way to a pest control appointment when he came across a motorist standing in the roadway.
“I was approaching a red light and I saw the man standing at the back of his car,” Pavel told me. “I thought maybe he was trying to flag someone down.”
It was clear the man was in distress. It turns out he was choking to death.
Pavel jumped out of his vehicle and rushed to the man’s side – while the dash cam video in the company van recorded the entire incident.
He tried patting the man on the back – hoping that would dislodge whatever was in the guy’s throat – but it did not work.
And performing the Heimlich maneuver proved to be a bit difficult because the victim was a bit larger than Pavel.
In addition to being a fighter, Pavel appeared on two seasons of the hit television show "America Ninja Warrior." So, he knows a thing or two about improvisation.
And that’s how he came up with the idea to employ a maneuver he normally uses on fighters during cage matches.
“I got a Gable Grip on the guy and just picked him up off the ground,” Pavel said.
The improvised emergency maneuver did the trick and the blockage was cleared in a matter of just a few seconds.
“He thanked me but it all happened so fast I didn’t even get his name,” he said.
Back at the pest control company, Pavel’s co-workers were shocked by the video. They called him a hero – but that’s not how Pavel sees things.
“I just helped somebody out. I took 30 seconds out of my day to help somebody,” he said.