A police officer is credited with saving the life of an 8-month-old girl who was choking on a water bottle cap outside her home.
Officer Janet Ramos was on her way to another call when she was flagged down by the baby’s mother in front of her home near the 4300 block of Central Avenue Saturday, the Riverside Police Department said.
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"I had been dispatched for a routine call when the mother jumped out in front of my car screaming, 'My baby, my baby,'" Ramos said.
"At first I did not really know what was going on. I saw a man holding an infant on the other side of the street and thought it might be a kidnapping, but then he ran over and explained he was the father and the baby was choking."
The 8-month-old girl was unresponsive and turning blue when Ramos arrived to help, according to the officer. A plastic water bottle cap was lodged in her throat.
"I could see her airway was blocked, but I was not sure what it was," Ramos said.
An Army medic who served in Iraq, Ramos tried to clear the blockage by slapping the baby on her back. After this was unsuccessful, Ramos flipped the child upside down and plucked out the cap with her fingers.
"When I got it out, the baby took a huge breath and started to cry," Ramos said. "I was so relieved. For a minute I thought I may not be able to help her."
The infant was taken to a hospital for treatment and has since been released with a clean bill of health. Ramos believes that if she was not there it is likely the baby girl would have died.
"I don't think the paramedics would have been there on time," Ramos said. "They arrived three to four minutes after I cleared the airway. I'm just glad I was there to help."