FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — For a police officer, there is no such thing as routine. Three Fredericksburg officers proved that last week.
Around 4 a.m., on May 19, Fredericksburg Officer Cristian Durham saw a car going 70 miles per hour in a 35-mile-per-hour zone along the 500 block of Emancipation Highway in Fredericksburg.
Durham subsequently pulled the car over and asked the man behind the driver’s wheel why he was going so fast. The man said, on footage later revealed via Durham’s body camera, that his 2-year-old daughter was in an emergency.
“She’s choking,” the man said.
With the parents’ permission, Durham said he then picked up the child to see how she was doing.
“All I could hear was agonal breathing,” he said. “I couldn't hear a good flow.”
So, Durham called for emergency medical assistance. Fredericksburg Officers Camille Zecher and Devin Kraft then decided to come by and help.
“I headed in that direction and got there as quickly as I could,” Zecher said.
She said she instructed Durham to place the child on her stomach. After that, he started to pat her on the back. Kraft provided assistance as well.
“I took the baby, had gloves on, checked the baby’s airway,” he said.
After some tense moments, the baby started crying. At that point, the trio said they knew things would be okay.
“As soon as that baby starts crying and it’s breathing, you’re like ‘cool, everything is better now’,” Kraft said.
Both Zecher and Durham said the situation was particularly stressful because they are parents.
“It is nerve-racking when it's a child,” Zecher said.
The parents later thanked the officers for their assistance on social media. Durham said he was happy to help.
“We're not here for awards, the publicity, the news, anything like that,” Durham said. “A simple handshake and a pat on the back is a good job. That's enough for us, but even just hearing back from the father saying, ‘thank you for what happened’ is more of a reward than what was even necessary.”