Two Springfield police officers helped to save the life of a 3-month-old girl who was choking while riding in a car with her mother on Monday, and their actions have won high praise from the city’s police commissioner and mayor.
Officers Christopher Charles and Luis Rodriguez were on a road detail at a work zone near Bradley and Wilbraham roads when a woman pulled her car over around 2 p.m., the department said in a statement.
The baby was pale, choking, and gasping for air when the officers saw her, and Rodriguez immediately called for an ambulance, the statement said.
The department on Wednesday released body camera footage that shows Charles taking the baby from her car seat. He placed her face down on his forearm and patted her back to help clear her airway.
About a minute later, the baby can be heard crying, according to the video, and liquid came out of her mouth.
Charles is heard trying to reassure the baby’s frantic mother.
“I got her, I got her,” Charles said. “She’s good. There you go, baby, there you go.” Once the baby started crying, he repeated, “I want you to cry,” as a good sign that she was breathing again.
Charles then handed the baby back into her mother’s arms, reassuring that she was OK as the ambulance arrived.
She was transported to a local hospital for evaluation and was released later in the day, the statement said.
“I am so proud of these officers who immediately took action, kept their composure in a stressful situation and worked together to help this baby,” Springfield Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood said in the statement. “Officers start every shift not knowing what they may face that day or how they may be able to make an impact, and I am thankful that they were in the right place at the right time to use their training to save a life.”
“I am very happy that mom and baby are doing well and healthy,” Mayor Domenic Sarno said in the statement. “Such a beautiful child and loving mother whose quick thinking to pull over after seeing the officers working a road detail, I am so relieved that our brave and dedicated officers were able to offer assistance and utilize their training to save the life of this precious child.”
Madison Mercado can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.