WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE, Ohio (WCMH) — A baby not breathing, saved thanks in part to a quick-thinking bus driver.
It happened Friday morning while a Washington Court House school bus driver was on her route.
The driver happened to be pulling up when the baby was not breathing. The driver happened to have another driver on the bus with her so getting off to help and leaving the kids was a no-brainer, and, of course, she had to remember her CPR training.
“I did two sets of four compressions and four breaths,” said Katrina Self, a school bus driver with the Washington Court House schools.
Friday morning, Self did something she never had to do before — CPR.
“I finally got her to breathe,” Self said. “It was shallow, but she was breathing.”
On a normal morning, Self starts up Bus 14, then goes out on the same route she’s had for years, taking children to Cherry Hill Primary. It had been a normal Friday morning until she pulled up to one of her stops.
“She opened the door and started yelling and screaming, ‘Call 911, I need 911,’” Self said.
It was a mother in desperate need. Self said she could see the mom at that stop in her house, holding her one-year-old child, who wasn’t breathing.
“Probably the first thing that came to mind, what if that was my baby laying there,” Self said.
So the bus driver’s motherly instincts and CPR training took over.
“It is a combination of both,” she said. “I honestly thought if I ever had to use it, I would forget how to do it. It just kicked in when I saw that baby, she was lifeless.”
Self was able to get the baby breathing and stayed until Fayette County EMS arrived. EMS Director Rodney List said bystanders doing CPR can oftentimes be lifesaving.
“It can be a difference between life and death,” List said. “It can greatly increase their odds of survival.”
Self calls the students she drives her bus babies. Friday, she took care of another baby, one that, because of her quick thinking, could, one day, be one of her bus babies as well.
“Forty-five to maybe 50 seconds, seemed like the longest seconds of my life,” she said. “She just kind of finally made eye contact with me and it was a great feeling.”
Self has been in touch with the baby’s mother and said the child is recovering well.
Self said she is only trained in CPR because of her job.
According to the Ohio Department of Education’s website, bus drivers do not need to be CPR trained, but the Washington Court House School District requires the training for their drivers.