FAIRBORN — The Fairborn Fire Department recognized four Dayton-Fairborn Holiday Inn employees Thursday afternoon for saving the life of a 15-month-old child.
On May 11, a family came into the hotel to look at some banquet space.
“They were trying to host an event here for their son and we were showing them the back room — and literally, we were in there like three minutes or so, and this little boy started showing signs that he was choking,” said employee Jacquelyn Morris.
The boy had gotten a piece of candy lodged in his throat. Morris was the first one to notice what was going on, but she and her fellow employees acted quickly.
“I’m screaming like a crazy woman and running down to the hallway to get to the closest phone,” she said. “And so they all heard me and they came out and they assisted in the process of trying to get it out. It was a really slow day, so there weren’t a lot of people around, so I’m glad they heard me.”
The fire department was alerted, and while waiting for its arrival, Morris, along with Dianna Cordle, Jelani Johnson and Kimberley Peterson, worked together to help the boy.
“It was really a team effort from everyone here,” Cordle said. “It’s just amazing to do what we did to make sure that little guy pulled through the whole event.”
For three minutes, the group tried to dislodge the candy by delivering back blows and finger sweeps.
“It was the longest three minutes of our lives,” Cordle said. “It seemed very long, very scary, and the main thing was we just stayed focused on what the most important thing was at that point was to figure out what he was choking on and make sure we could dislodge it.”
They were able to remove the candy from the boy’s throat, and the ambulance showed up soon after.
The fire department commended the four employees for thinking and acting quickly in a situation where most others would have been frozen.
Fairborn Fire Chief Mike Riley pointed out that these people were trained in CPR and thus were able to save the boy’s life.
“Times like this is when it really comes in handy,” he said. “A lot of people will go their whole career without ever using it.”
He emphasized the importance of being trained in CPR.
“It cannot hurt,” Riley said. “There’d need to be a lot of opportunities for that training, but those who do have those opportunities should take advantage of it and understand that it can make a big difference.”