Cam Sholly

Cameron “Cam” Sholly began his tenure as Yellowstone National Park’s superintendent in October. Last week he revived a choking Old Faithful Snow Lodge diner by performing the Heimlich maneuver.

Mike Pence was singing Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly’s praises in a speech delivered to 100-some colleagues last week when he squeezed in a remark that earned some perplexed looks.

The vice president, visiting Old Faithful on Thursday, noted that Sholly “literally saved the life of a young man” the night before. While the National Park Service crowd clapped, at least one Yellowstone employee said afterward that she had no idea what Pence was talking about.

But it was true. After the Pence’s visit, Yellowstone’s public affairs team tracked down the story.

The evening before Pence’s address, Sholly was dining at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge with park managers and concessionaire staff. When a young male diner next to them began choking and stopped breathing, another Snow Lodge patron gave him the Heimlich maneuver but was unsuccessful.

The man lost consciousness. Then Sholly got involved.

“Cam stepped in and also performed the Heimlich maneuver,” Yellowstone spokeswoman Linda Veress wrote in an email, “but this time it was effective and the diner regained consciousness.”

Contact Mike Koshmrl at 732-7067 or

Mike has reported on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's wildlife, wildlands and the agencies that manage them for 7 years. A native Minnesotan, he arrived in the West to study environmental journalism at the University of Colorado.

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