WASHINGTON — A Montgomery County officer performed CPR on a 9-month-old baby girl on the side of Interstate 270 Sunday afternoon, ultimately saving her life.
Police Officer James Herman tells WNEW he was on his way home when he initiated a traffic stop of a vehicle on the shoulder of northbound I-270 in the area of the Muddy Branch Road exit. While he was speaking with the driver, another vehicle pulled off the highway and parked behind his cruiser.
“All I heard was a guy yelling ‘Help me, help me,'” Herman says. “I turned around and looked and see pure panic in his face. My first reaction was, ‘Who’s chasing this guy?'”
The man and a woman got out of their vehicle with the 9-month-old girl and ran to the officer, explaining that the child was unresponsive. Herman noted that the child was ashen in color and limp.
Herman began to perform CPR while cradling the girl in his arms.
“I had the baby on my forearm while I was doing the compressions,” Herman says.
Then a Good Samaritan, who identified himself as an out-of-state firefighter, stopped his vehicle on the side of the road to offer assistance.
Herman then handed the baby to the firefighter in order to radio for EMS crews to respond to the location. Herman says that is when she became responsive and started crying before EMS crews arrived and transported her to a local hospital.
The woman with the child identified herself as the grandmother and the man is believed to have been a family member.
Herman tells WNEW the father of the infant called the police department on Monday and said the baby is still in the hospital, but is expected to make a full recovery and suffered a “fever seizure” when she stopped breathing on Sunday.
“I don’t consider myself a hero by any means, it’s just part of our job and I feel any one of my other shiftmates, any one of my other officers in this whole county would have done the same thing and gotten the same result… Any police officer would have done the same thing,” Herman says.
Herman is an 11-year veteran of the Montgomery County Police Department.
“I am very proud that Officer Herman was in the right place at the right time to save this infant’s life. He followed his training and his efforts resulted in a positive outcome,” says Commander Falcinelli. “He is an excellent representative of the dedication and professionalism that Montgomery County Police officers possess.”
Police say Montgomery County officers receive CPR and other emergency medical training during the police academy and throughout their careers as part of annual in-service training.
“I am told that this child is doing better and only still alive due to the quick actions of Officer Herman and the unknown civilian who assisted him in providing this life-saving intervention,” said Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Stephen E. Mann, who responded to the incident.
The out-of-state firefighter who stopped to help may have attended the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service in Emmitsburg earlier in the day.
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