Officer saves life of 10-day-old baby who was choking on formula

Baby Dana, left, was 10 days old when her mother called 911 because she was choking on formula. Pfc.Darin Behm, right, came to her rescue. (Charles County Sheriff's Office)

An officer has earned the gratitude of a mother and the praise of his department after he saved the life of a choking 10-day-old baby.

"It's a child. You'd do anything possible for a child," Pfc. Darin Behm told WJLA, the ABC affiliate in Washington D.C.

Baby Dana's mother called 911 when she started choking on formula on July 31, the Charles County Sheriff's Office said. In an excerpt from the call, the mom stutters as the dispatcher gives her instructions.

"My baby is not breathing right now," the mother, who wished to remain anonymous, can be heard saying.

When police arrived on the scene, they found the baby red in the face and not breathing. The sheriff's office described the dramatic moment that Behm jumped into action:

    "He opened her mouth and saw formula inside. He tilted her head and did a finger sweep to try to clear her airway, but that did not work. He asked for an aspirator but there was none in the house. With the baby still struggling to get full breaths, PFC Behm placed his mouth over the baby's nose and mouth and gently sucked until a large chunk of the formula -- about the size of a dime with thick mucus -- came out, clearing the infant's windpipe."

Baby Dana then began breathing, the sheriff's office said. She was sent to the hospital as a precaution and discharged after a few hours. The mother said she was thankful that the officer "took control in a hectic situation" to help Dana, who has a twin sister.

The sheriff's office posted about the incident on its Facebook and congratulated officer Behm on a job well done.

Behm, who has a 2-year-old son, said he was fortunate to be able to answer the call.

"I'm glad I was able to help," Behm said. "It's what we do."
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