HAMBURG TWP. (WWJ/AP) – A Michigan police officer is credited with helping to save a 3-year-old boy who was choking on food.
Hamburg Township Officer Matt Duhaime responded within minutes Monday night to a home in the area of Hamburg and Sheldon roads, about 35 miles west of Detroit. He arrived to find the child unconscious and not breathing.
Duhaime said he used a back slap and abdominal thrusts to dislodge the food.
“I noticed there was air bubbles in the child’s saliva, which is a good sign,” Duhaime told the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus. “I did a couple more abdominal thrusts and I heard the child grunt. … I saw he was starting to breathe again. He came around relatively quickly.”
Watching the revived boy embracing his family members was the “highlight of my life,” Duhaime said.
Police Chief Rick Duffany said Duhaime’s quick action and use of training saved the child, who is expected to be OK.
Duhaime, however, credits a relative of the child for removing some of the obstruction before he arrived and starting lifesaving efforts.
“He did all the right things,” Duhaime told the newspaper about the family member’s actions. “He had the child in the correct position and he was very calm throughout the situation. He really deserves a lot of the credit. He set up the scenario for me to work off of.”
Duhaime has an associate’s degree from Lansing Community College, and is a 2009 graduate of the Mid-Michigan Police Academy. He has been with the department for roughly three-and-a-half years, and said his training was “priceless” in the situation.
“You can’t act off emotion,” he said. “You fall back on your training, and it’s instinctual. You’re able to get through tough situations regardless of what’s around you.”
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