Heimlich Heroes: Just the FAQs

As a quick reference, below are all the basic, most frequently asked questions and answers.

What is Heimlich Heroes?

Created by Deaconess Associations, Inc. (DAI), with support from The Heimlich Institute, Heimlich Heroes is a proven, educational program. It teaches young how to perform the Heimlich maneuver, so they can confidently step forward and save a life.

How do you do that?

Heimlich Heroes training can be used with any classroom or youth organization. This robust video training can also be supplemented by a dynamic, interactive curriculum aligned with the Common Core for classrooms (Grades 6-8) that would like to expand their training.

What is the main focus of this program?

This interactive training is designed to teach all people how to:

    • Recognize the signs of choking
    • Respond during a choking emergency
    • Prevent or minimize the risk of choking

What materials do you have?

  • We have a comprehensive online/dvd training video for both teachers and students
  • “Heidi”, “Hank”, "Kimi", "Marcus", and "Andy" Heimlich, our 42-inch, specially designed training dolls, are loaned to groups that register for our training program
  • A tri-fold organizer (ages 12+) or flipbook (ages 7-11) would be used by students to take notes during the video training
  • Bookmarks, training certificates, school posters, coloring pages and wristbands, as well as scouting patches are also available
  • Expanded classroom curriculum aligned to the middle school common core curriculum provides teachers with lesson plans that meet current standards. Training can be expanded into the areas of science, health, math, engineering and language arts for grades 6-8
  • Train-the-Trainer Webinar
  • Leader Resource Page
  • Spanish version of the Student and Parent materials


Can you tell me more about the training dolls?

Five diverse dolls allow students to get “hands-on” practice. They feature an internal diaphragm, lungs, and a windpipe. Students gain confidence and actual experience practicing the Heimlich maneuver on these life-like dolls.

Why the Heimlich Maneuver?

Choking is currently the fifth leading cause of accidental death in the United States, according to the most recent report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). That means about 5,000 people actually choke to death in the United States every year. The simplest first aid action, proven to prevent a choking death, is the Heimlich maneuver. Over 100,000 lives have been saved with this technique, since its inception in 1974.

Is the Heimlich Maneuver recognized as the best method for helping choking victims?

The Heimlich Maneuver remains the best method for clearing the blocked airway of a child or adult. That fact is supported by such medical authorities as: Johns Hopkins Hospital, the American College for Emergency Physicians, and the American Heart Association. 

Why train children?

Young people are extremely curious and remember these kinds of training experiences. But generally, young people will not learn about the Heimlich Maneuver until high school, if at all. Heimlich Heroes believes in the importance of early exposure and we believe that anyone can learn how to save a life. Our Heimlich Heroes’ Facebook page shares many real stories and inspiring testimonials highlighting these experiences.

How are you funded?

In the early years of this program, Deaconess Associations, Inc. has been very generous to provide the funds needed for our start up costs and early trainings.  We have discovered that kids clubs and schools are generally not able to pay for these types of programs. So, to improve the statistics on choking deaths, Heimlich Heroes’ goal is to keep it nearly free to the user. Corporate sponsors and foundations are welcome to join us in educating young people on this simple, life-saving technique.

The Stats on Choking Deaths

  • Choking is currently the fifth leading cause of accidental death in the United States*
  • Approximately 5,000 people choke to death in the United States every year
  • The simplest and most effective first aid action, proven to prevent a choking death, is the Heimlich maneuver
  • Over 100,000 lives have been saved with this technique, since its inception in 1974

*Centers for Disease Control (CDC)