Thanks to a fender bender, Officer Michael Houck was in the right place at the right time Monday afternoon to save a choking baby.
Officer Houck was responding to a minor car crash on Foster Street about half a block from the child’s home. As Houck was beginning to wrap up his work on the crash, a neighbor of the victim ran up to the crash scene and began frantically speaking to Officer Houck in Spanish. One of the drivers involved in the crash translated and told Officer Houck that a baby was choking. Officer Houck ran with the neighbor to 1107 Foster St. where the child’s mother was in the front yard with the baby in her arms. She gave the seven month old baby to Officer Houck, who found that the child was not crying or breathing.
Houck turned the baby over and began to apply back thrusts until the baby coughed up a small piece of a carrot. The baby immediately began to cry and gasp for air.
With the driver’s help, Officer Houck spoke to the baby’s mother and determined that the baby had pulled a sheet of jalapeno peppers over onto himself and the peppers irritated his skin and caused swelling. Officer Houck and the baby’s mother flushed the child’s skin with water as emergency medical personnel arrived. The EMS crew determined that the baby was okay.
All officers with the Dalton Police Department are trained and re-certified every other year in CPR and life-saving techniques.