Metro officer saves choking infant in East Nashville

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — On Tuesday, some Metro officers were met with an unexpected emergency as they were investigating a car crash on Shelby Avenue. A desperate mother and a child gasping for air came running to them for aid.

“You can’t stop yourself from thinking of your own children,” said Officer Philip Claibourne with the Metro Nashville Police Department.

Claibourne has been on the force for 19 months. He says his training kicked into quick action when a woman began screaming that her infant son was choking.

“She was very frantic,” said Claibourne. “She was panicked. I could tell that she was looking for help.”

Claibourne said the 9-month old boy was barely breathing at the time.

“Visually checked the child’s airway. I didn’t see any obstructions,” Claibourne said. “But, I could hear that the baby was gasping for air and was not really breathing. Wasn’t making any other kind of noises other than that.”

That’s when Claibourne said he used the Heimlich manuever on the child.

“I knelt down and turned the baby over and kinda palmed it’s chest in my hand and rested my hand on my leg,” Claibourne explained. “I gave the baby one good smack on its back and immediately the baby started coughing and crying.”

The sound of the baby’s tears came as a welcomed relief for Claibourne and the child’s mother. He says he is not a hero, and was just doing his job.

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