Hero Santa Fe County deputy saves girl, 1, from choking on a Cheeto in viral dashcam video
Ficke said he 'could see the baby was stiff and purple' so he called for an ambulance. He then started performing the Heimlich maneuver for an infant
Dashcam video from the patrol car of a Santa Fe County Sheriff officer shows how the deputy's quick thinking saved the life of a one-year-old girl who was choking on a Cheeto. Santa Fe County Sheriff's Facebook page carried the footage of the incident on June 23. Deputy Sheriff Patrick Ficke conducted a routine traffic stop on a vehicle, as per the post, after noticing it was moving erratically while he was patrolling Interstate 25 on June 5.
The officer has been hailed as a hero after he saved the one-year-old girl from choking. Incredible bodycam footage shows the terrifying moment the parents rushed their baby who had choked on food in the car.
"He commenced a routine traffic stop and immediately realized something was wrong," the caption to the video read. "We invite you to view the video and witness the life-saving measures taken by this Santa Fe County Deputy Sheriff to save a one year old toddler. Great work Deputy Ficke!"
In the video, Ficke explained that after he initiated the stop, the vehicle's driver - the father of the one-year-old child - jumped out. This, he says, is never a good sign.
That "is usually a red flag for law enforcement," Ficke said. Then Ficke exited his patrol car and was informed by the driver that his infant daughter was not breathing. Ficke said he "could see the baby was stiff and purple" so he called for an ambulance. He then started performing the Heimlich maneuver for an infant.
"I checked her airway, I could see she was choking on something I turned her around and started performing the Heimlich maneuver for potentially an infant," he said, adding, "After about 45 seconds to a minute of giving the Heimlich, the Cheeto which she was choking on came out and she started crying where I turned her back up and just tried to comfort her."
Ficke added that he was glad he was there to help the child.
"It was pretty scary for a bit," he said. "One thing with calls you never want to see a child hurt. So I was just lucky I was there at the right time and able to help her." Several people on social media and the Facebook video post praised Ficke for his quick thinking that helped save a young girl's life.
"Congratulations on how you handled the situation. By not overreacting to the fathers exit you were able to evaluate the situation and safe the life of an infant. Thank you for your service and protection," one user commented. "Outstanding! That child lived due to your heroic efforts," another user added.
"God bless you Deputy Ficke. You were in the right place at the right time," another user said. Praise and gratitude came for Ficke in abundance in the comment section. "This is what makes me proud to be an American! What diligence! Exactly what protecting and serving its citizens is all about! God bless this Deputy and his family. Like a true super hero in action!" one user commented.
"Thank you Deputy Ficke! Just one more family who will sleep well into these future nights because of heroic actions of a law enforcement team! Awesome job!" another user praised him.