Florida Firefighter Saves Choking Child at Station


Christmas came early for a New Smyrna Beach family after a firefighter saved their young son's life.

Lisa Ebaugh said her youngest son, 22-month-old Reese, was playing with a toy when he ingested something and started choking.

“He was just choking. He was not breathing and I tried patting him on the back just thinking it would be over really soon, and it was not,” Ebaugh said. “He was near unconscious. He was flaccid, he was blue. He just had a blank stare on his face.”

Panicked and desperate for help, Ebaugh said she and her husband called 911, then jumped in the car and raced to a fire station a few blocks away from their home.

“I put my flashers and blinkers on. I was yelling out of the window and fortunately, people were paying attention and moving off to the right,” Ebaugh said.

Firefighter Tom Bull, who was on duty at the station, said he assessed the toddler's condition before striking him right between the shoulder blades to dislodge the object. Bull said the child gasped for breath and his color slowly returned.

“If they hadn't been there and I would have had to go to the hospital, that would have three or four minutes longer to get out of the car, and then I wouldn't know what would have happened to him,” Ebaugh said.

“Their thought, of course, was panic. We just jump into action. You know the things that we are trained (to do), the things that we do,” Bull said. “I certainly don't feel as though I need a pat on the back or any accolades from it, but I do appreciate it. Thank you.”

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