Duke security officer receives lifesaving award

March 03, 2011

Security sergeant, Jerry Johnson, left, and Charles Norris, right, a security officer with the Duke University Police Department. Norris received a lifesaving award.

Duke Police Security sergeant, Jerry Johnson, left, with Charles Norris, right, a security officer with the Duke University Police Department. Norris received a lifesaving award.

By Leanora Minai

Charles Norris, a security officer with the Duke University Police Department, received a lifesaving award Thursday for helping a man who was choking in Duke Clinic.
 
On Feb. 8, Norris sprang into action in the front lobby to help a 67-year-old man struggling with his breathing and “pulling at his mouth and throat,” Duke Police Security Sgt. Jerry Johnson said during a ceremony at police headquarters.

Norris stepped behind the man, who was seated, eased him in a forward position and struck his back once, dislodging a piece of a sandwich, Johnson said.

At Thursday’s ceremony, Vice President for Duke Human Resources Kyle Cavanaugh and Duke Police Chief John Dailey both commended Norris for his quick action.

“This sets an example for everybody else to let them know that at any time, any of us could be in a position to act as you did,” Dailey said.

Norris, who has worked at Duke for two years, received congratulatory handshakes and a glass award with his name engraved. But he’s the kind of guy who prefers to remain behind the scenes.

“I really feel like I just did my job,” Norris said. “I would have done the same thing at a Winn-Dixie.”