The baby’s body was next to lifeless when Officers Arthur Green and James O’Connor were handed the 6-week-old child last Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 25.
Quick action was paramount.
And the officers did just the right thing, bringing the baby back to life, getting it breathing and back into its mother’s grateful arms.
“We were at the stoplight on Waltham and Washington streets and heard someone honking and beeping,” said O’Connor. “We were looking around for who was honking and the driver of the car behind us got out and ran up to the window and said, ‘It’s an emergency, my baby’s choking.’”
Both officers jumped to action, and Green ran back and took the quickly fading baby into his arms as the parents were fully into panic mode. Remaining calm, he and O’Connor administered some quick medical aid.
“He was pretty lifeless when we first got there,” said Green. “We got out and ran back there and O’Connor grabbed the baby and did some back thumbs and cleared the baby’s mouth. The baby eventually started vomiting something and began to make some sounds.”
O’Connor said they were simply in the right place at the right time, and used the training they received in the Police Academy to help.
“It was an extreme relief when he started breathing again because we didn’t know what kind of distress he was in,” he said. “He was really lifeless when they handed him over to us. We were really grateful we could help, and it was a very fulfilling outcome. It was being in the right place.”
O’Connor and Green said they have gotten extensive training from the police force on such things, but have also picked up some wisdom over the years as parents. Green’s wife also works in the medical field at Children’s Hospital, so he’s also picked up some things from her.
Green has also been in that position before.
“It’s happened to me a couple of times before,” he said. “About nine years ago on Tremont Street there was a baby choking and we were able to help that baby. Three years ago I was working a detail at the House of Blues and a girl was passed out in the back. They thought she was drunk but she wasn’t. She had a heart condition and I realized that and was able to do CPR and bring her back.”
Both officers said the parents were very grateful, and they had to pay them a visit at the hospital because the mother accidentally left with Green’s police radio.
Green and O’Connor said anyone who has such an emergency should remain calm and get help as soon as possible. Never put a choking baby on its back, and for those with small children, it might be wise to take a medical aid/CPR class. Both officers have been patrolling the streets of District 4 for some time, with Green being there since 2007, and O’Connor since 2013.