EMTs go through intensive training and continuing education to help refine their knowledge and skills in order to safely transport their patients. But as this Living Inspired Story shows, having an EMT background can make a huge different in life or death situations.
Andy and Nadia were visiting New York City to see their family when they experienced every parent’s worst nightmare: their newborn baby Natalia went limp and stopped breathing while they waited for the subway.
Both parents started to panic and were able to find an MTA worker who quickly brought them to the NYPD Transit Manhattan Task Force headquarters. The worker began to pound on the door trying to get the attention of a police officer who could help.
That’s when Officer Daniel Velasquez and Sgt. Mike Reilly of the NYPD responded. Andy, Natalia’s father told them “My baby’s not breathing! My baby’s not breathing!”, and both officers immediately went into action to help.
Officer Velasquez placed the Natalia on the ground and began chest compressions while Sgt. Reilly started mouth to mouth.
“I have two daughters of my own. The memories came flooding back. My heart was pounding,” Reilly said. “She was struggling to breathe.”
That’s when Officer John Williams, who volunteers as an EMT in Long Island, ran over. “I recognized the symptoms. She was having a febrile seizure,” Williams said. The symptoms include convulsions caused by a sudden fever. He’d seen this issue twice before, he said, and he knew exactly what he needed to do.
“The baby was extremely hot. I cut off her clothes and started calling for ice,” Williams said. “I put it on her belly, neck and between her legs.”
Natalia started breathing again. “It was a beautiful sound,” Williams said.
“I told the father and the mother to hold her hand so she would recognize them,” he said. “(The dad) gave me a hug and said, ‘Thank you, thank you.’ Everybody was crying.”
Soon afterwards, medics arrived to transport the stabilized Natalia to a nearby hospital.
Officer Williams told reporters he didn’t see himself as a hero. “No, it was just part of the job,” he said. “I was doing my job.”
Little Natalia was able to celebrate her first birthday thanks to the quick actions of Officer Velasquez, Sgt. Reilly, and Officer Williams. Now, just imagine how many more people first responders could save if they all had basic medical training.