NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — Metro Police Officer Philip Claibourn is being hailed a hero for saving the little nine-month-old boy who was choking. But if you ask him, he calls it just being in the right place at the right time.
Officer Claibourne was parked at a gas station Tuesday night responding to a car accident when a different emergency came running his way.
"A car drove up rather quickly to my partner's car and stopped and two women and a baby jumped out," he said.
A frantic mother was begging the officers on the scene to save her baby who was choking.
"The mom rushed over to me and handed the baby to me and I took it and my training kind of kicked in. At the academy, we are taught the Heimlich and CPR for both adults and babies and
I could hear that the baby was gasping for air and not really breathing and wasn't making any kind noises other than that," he explained.
He couldn't see anything inside the baby's mouth or throat but Claibourne says he knew he needed to do something.
"I knelt down and turned the baby over and kind of palmed its chest in my hand and rested my hand on my leg. I gave the baby one good smack on its back and immediately the baby started coughing and crying," said Claibourne.
And for him, this call felt personal. Claibourne is a first-time dad himself to a baby girl. He says on that day he wore two hats, one as a father and the other as a first responder.
Claibourne doesn't see himself as a hero but he is pleased he could give this mother and baby the help they needed.
"She was panicked and she was very relieved when the baby started crying."
Claibourne is urging all parents to learn CPR and the Heimlich maneuver.