FDNY EMS members save choking baby

August 4, 2011 5:14:42 PM PDT
While all rescues are special for FDNY EMS members, they always say there is something special about saving the life of a child.

And this was no exception.

On Wednesday Aug. 3, at around 4:30 p.m., Lt. Nicholas Aiello, Paramedics Daniel Mboh and Ashley Alejo, and EMTs Bruny Ortega and Kevin Balslov got a call for a child choking at Fifth Avenue and 107th Street in Manhattan.

From what they could gather, the parents noticed their 11-month-old son choking and carried him into a medical clinic, thinking it was a hospital. Instead, the center was for mental health treatment, and had no staff who knew how to help the boy, so they called 911.

The units arrived simultaneously and were handed the boy, who was limp and unconscious.

"You could see he was trying to breathe, but very little air was going in," Lt. Aiello said.

They found his airway was obstructed with a large piece of plastic lodged in his trachea.

The EMTs set up a stretcher and supported the paramedics as they used a Laryngoscope to peer into his airway and then a Magill Forceps to remove the item.

At this point the crowd in the office waiting area had grown to 30 or 40 people and Lt. Aiello said once the baby's airway was cleared, "There was a lot of applause and a huge sigh of relief. It was kind of dramatic."

They then ventilated the boy for a short time before he started breathing on his own. He was transported to Mt. Sinai Hospital and was admitted into the pediatric intensive care unit.

Later that night, Lt. Aiello said he visited the boy and he was happy and smiling with his parents.

"It's one of those jobs where the quick action of the crew saved the baby's life," Lt. Aiello said, adding that four of the five responding EMS members are parents themselves. "When you are a parent and you can help a child like this, it's really special."