Mass. firefighter praised for helping choking newborn

In a letter to the mayor, the Lawrence fire chief praised Firefighter David Swarbrick for saving the baby's life

Jill Harmacinski
The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass.

LAWRENCE, Mass. — A firefighter is being commended for helping a choking, 5-day-old infant this weekend.

Firefighter David Swarbrick was working at the Engine 8 firehouse at 298 Ames St. on Saturday when the Fire department got a call about the newborn choking at an address in the 500 block of Haverhill Street, according to Fire Chief Brian Moriarty.

When firefighters entered the apartment, the baby's mother handed the infant to Swarbrick. The baby was not breathing, bluish in color (cyanotic) with an apparent blocked airway, Moriarty said.

"Firefighter Swarbrick administered back blows expelling a thick substance from the child, clearing the airway. The infant immediately began to cry, breathing on its own," wrote Moriarty, in a letter about the medical aid to acting Mayor Kendrys Vasquez.

Fellow firefighters then gave the baby oxygen and the infant's healthy color returned, Moriarty said.

Moriarty asked Vasquez to issue a citation from the mayor's office to Swarbrick for his work.

"The efforts of Firefighter Swarbrick clearing the airway definitely showed the need for a quick and professional response from the Fire Department and Firefighter Swarbrick and the crew certainly provided that, saving the 5-day old infant's life," Moriarty wrote.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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