CFAY Security Officer awarded for life saving actions

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tyler R. Fraser
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tyler R. Fraser

CFAY Security Officer awarded for life saving actions

by Petty Officer 2nd Class Tyler Fraser
Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka

YOKOSUKA, Japan (March 4, 2020) – Lt. Cmdr. Shawn Kline, Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka’s (CFAY) security officer was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal Feb. 22, for performing the Heimlich maneuver on Ensign Stephen McLaughlin, CFAY assistant security officer, while he was choking, ultimately saving his life.

McLaughlin said that while eating lunch, his food became lodged in his airway making it impossible to breathe.

“At this time, I was panicking and had the wherewithal to understand I was choking with not a lot of time,” said McLaughlin. “There was not much I could do: I could not yell for help. I could not call anyone. I was helpless.”

Upon seeing McLaughlin struggling to breathe, Kline sprang into action and began performing the Heimlich maneuver.

“I saw a Sailor was in trouble and needed help,” said Kline. “My simple action just ensured my Sailor was able to go home and be with his wife and child and I am glad I was there to help.”

Kline said it was his training as a first responder that prepared him for that moment.

“Being a part of the security team over the past 27 years has provided me training in CPR, first aid, and as an emergency medical technician when I was a [Master-at-Arms] many years ago,” said Kline. “I used the skills given to me over the years to take the appropriate action to help a Sailor in need.”

McLaughlin said he was thankful Kline was there to save his life.

“I am beyond grateful,” said McLaughlin. “Everything Lt. Cmdr. Kline has provided me and taught me over these four months has placed me in debt with him, but saving me placed me and my whole family in his debt that cannot be repaid.”

During an award ceremony for Kline’s actions, Capt. Rich Jarrett, CFAY’s commanding officer, congratulated Kline for being alert and ready for anything.

“This quick thinking and swift action directly saved Ensign McLaughlin’s life,” said Jarrett. “His actions set an exemplary example for all first responders to emulate.”

For more than 75 years, CFAY has provided, maintained, and operated base facilities and services in support of the U.S. 7th fleet's forward-deployed naval forces, tenant commands, and thousands of military and civilian personnel and their families.

Photo Caption:
YOKOSUKA, Japan (Feb. 22, 2021) - Lt. Cmdr. Shawn Kline, Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY) security officer is awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal Feb. 22 for performing the Heimlich maneuver on Ensign Stephen McLaughlin, CFAY assistant security officer, while he was choking, ultimately saving his life. For more than 75 years, CFAY has provided, maintained, and operated base facilities and services in support of the U.S. 7th fleet's forward-deployed naval forces, tenant commands, and thousands of military and civilian personnel and their families.

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