For one Santa Fe, New Mexico, couple, being pulled over for a routine traffic stop was an absolute blessing.
Earlier this month, Santa Fe Deputy Sheriff Patrick Ficke noticed a black Ford Explorer swerving around on the interstate, so he pulled over the driver, who immediately jumped out of the vehicle.
“Right as I stopped the vehicle, the driver — who is a father — jumped out, which is usually a red flag for law enforcement,” the officer said in a video discussing the dashcam footage.
Ficke soon discovered the father had good reason for driving erratically: his 1-year-old daughter was choking and was no longer breathing.
The dad and mother, who was in the passenger seat, leapt from the Explorer as soon as they came to a stop on the side of the road.
“He started pulling his baby out, [and] I could see the baby was stiff and purple,” Ficke recalled. “So I immediately called for paramedics and an ambulance and ran up to the baby.”
Without skipping a beat, the deputy sheriff checked the little girl’s airway and knew she was choking on something. So he turned her over and began performing the Heimlich maneuver.
Ficke continued the procedure for close to a minute when finally the thing that was blocking the toddler’s airway — a Cheeto — fell out of her mouth.
“It was pretty scary for a bit,” the officer said. “You know, one thing with calls, you never want to see a child hurt.
Ficke called for an ambulance to be dispatched to their location. The little girl was checked over, and she is doing fine. The couple could be seen smiling and laughing alongside Ficke after the incident was resolved.
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