Yesterday at approximately 4:23 p.m., Montgomery County Police Officer James Herman was on his way home after completing his patrol shift and initiated a traffic stop of a vehicle on the shoulder of northbound Interstate 270 in the area of the Muddy Branch Road exit. While Officer Herman was speaking with the driver, another vehicle pulled off the highway and parked behind the officer’s cruiser. A man and a woman exited their vehicle with a 9-month-old girl and ran to the officer, explaining that the child was unresponsive. Officer Herman noted that the child was ashen in color. While cradling the girl in his arms, the officer began to perform CPR; the child soon regained consciousness. Officer Herman radioed to dispatch that Fire – Rescue personnel were needed at the location. At this time, a Good Samaritan, who identified himself as an out-of-state firefighter, stopped his vehicle on the side of the road to offer assistance. Fire – Rescue responded and transported the girl to a local hospital. The woman with the child identified herself as the grandmother and the male is believed to have been a family member.
Officer James Herman is an 11-year veteran of the Montgomery County Police Department and currently works in the 2nd District. Commander Falcinelli of the 2nd (Bethesda) District said, “I am very proud that Officer Herman was in the right place at the right time to save this infant’s life. He followed his training and his efforts resulted in a positive outcome. He is an excellent representative of the dedication and professionalism that Montgomery County Police officers possess.”
On Sunday, Montgomery County Fire – Rescue Battalion Chief Stephen E. Mann, who responded to this incident, stated, “I am told that this child is doing better and only still alive due to the quick actions of Officer Herman and the unknown civilian who assisted him in providing this life-saving intervention.”
The Good Samaritan, who is believed to be an out-of-state firefighter, has not been identified. There was a National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service in Emmitsburg, Maryland, yesterday, and the man was wearing a shirt associated with that memorial. It is possible that this man had attended this service earlier in the day. The Department would like to thank this individual for his willingness to come to the assistance of our officer and this child.
Montgomery County officers receive CPR and other emergency medical training during the police academy and throughout their careers as part of annual in-service training.
UPDATE: Via social media,the out-of-state firefighter has been identified as Brody Channell, a firefighter with the Little Rock, Arkansas Fire Department. Channell was in Maryland to honor his father, Capt. Dennis A. Channell, at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service. Channell’s father died in the line of duty February 10, 2014, while responding to a call for service.
UPDATE: Due to privacy laws, the Department was initially unable to obtain the child’s name. We are happy that her family reached out to the Department and that we can now identify her as Kenzlee Mae Cushman.