Political Notebook

Arambula, now in the state Assembly, calls up skills from former career to save a life

Assembly Member Joaquin Arambula, D-Fresno, had to use his medical skills to save a life on Saturday night.
Assembly Member Joaquin Arambula, D-Fresno, had to use his medical skills to save a life on Saturday night.

On Saturday night, at a Poverello House gala fundraiser at TorNino’s on North Blackstone Avenue, freshman Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula had to quickly revert to his previous career – medical doctor.

The Fresno Democrat had to perform the Heimlich maneuver on a fellow diner who was choking.

I was fortunate to be at the right place at the right time and just did what I was trained do.

Assemblyman (and doctor) Joaquin Arambula, D-Fresno

“I was fortunate to be at the right place at the right time and just did what I was trained to do,” Arambula said. “I did what anyone else who had similar training would do.”

Arambula isn’t that far removed from his medical career – and likely will continue it at some time in the future. In April, he won a special election to fill the remaining seven-plus months of Fresno Democrat Henry T. Perea’s final 31st Assembly District term. Perea resigned a year early to take a private sector job. Luckily, medical training isn’t something that is easily forgotten.

Last week, Arambula won election to a full two-year term that will start in December. Under new term-limit laws, he can serve up to 12 years in the Assembly.

“I am thankful that I could help and that the person was fine following the incident,” Arambula said. “I’d encourage everyone to get first aid training in case they are faced with a similar situation.”

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