Committee will look into firefighter's actions during drowning rescue


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Committee will look into firefighter's actions during drowning rescue

By Chris Oswalt. CREATED Aug 14, 2014

Strong accusations of a cover up by the City of Boise following the drowning of a homeless man will be investigated, but it won’t be by the committee originally requested.

The allegations stem from the June 28 death of Felix Martinez. Martinez was pulled from the New York Canal June 23 by a Boise firefighter. It’s the actions of that firefighter that have the family of a prominent doctor asking questions.

In e-mail after e-mail, sent to Boise city officials, Peter Heimlich demands answers.

"This is not a minor issue," Heimlich said.

The firefighter, Brent Matthews, said in a media interview he performed the Heimlich Maneuver on Martinez. In that interview, Matthews is said to have commented he recently read articles about the effectiveness of the procedure on near drowning victims. It turns out nearly every medical organization, including the American Red Cross, The American Heart Association and the office of the Surgeon General, advise against the procedure.

Boise's Human Resources Department will look into the accusations presented by Heimlich to determine if a cover up was conducted.