Alert deputy saves baby's life
June 25, 2008 · Updated 1:58 PM
"A baby girl is alive today thanks to the actions of Island County Deputy Rob Davison.The curious incident occurred at about 2 p.m. Tuesday afternoon when Davison, accompanied by Reserve Deputy Deputy David Dennis, was cruising the Timberline Road area near Deer Lake. They were looking for a motorcyclist who had been reported speeding in the area.The patrol car passed two small children sitting by the edge of a road, and there were no adults around. Davison thought that was unusual so he decided to turn around. He found two girls, one four years old and the other about a year old and still in diapers.They were sitting by the side of the road playing in the gravel, Davison said. The baby was covered with white stuff that later investigation revealed to have come from a jar of skin cream found nearby. The older girl told the deputies they had been making syrup in the rocks.Davison picked up the baby while Dennis went to the house and knocked on the door, but there was no answer. As the door was unlocked, Davison told Dennis to loudly announce his presence and go inside. At that point a girl came out of a bedroom. She was described as the children's' 15-year-old babysitter.Meanwhile, the baby in Davison's arms was getting sick. The baby threw up over my shoulder and went limp, he said. She started turning blue. Her teeth were clenched and I couldn't open her mouth -- I had to pry it open.Davison was well trained in first aid as a Navy helicopter crewman and helped save many lives in that role. So he knew what to do with a limp baby.The deputy looked down the baby's throat and saw a glob of stuff behind the tongue. He reached in and with his finger scooped out a wad of the skin cream mixed with grass and gravel. She still wasn't breathing, he said. I didn't know how long this child was going to last. The next step was to lightly give the baby mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. I gave her a breath, Davison said. What she needed was a good lung of fresh air.Dennis had called for emergency aid early in the incident. When the ambulance arrived the paramedics supplied oxygen to the baby and Davison saw she was improving quickly. She snapped right back in the ambulance, he said. He later stopped by Whidbey General Hospital and saw the baby sitting comfortably with the nurse.Island County Sheriff Mike Hawley commended Davison for his actions in saving the child, and others have offered accolades as well. But Davison considered it just part of doing his job. Everybody's calling me a hero, but I'm not, he said.Davison only hoped that parents would learn from the incident.It's very important to really screen babysitters, he said. And always know what's going on at the house. He recommends that babysitters be required to fill out applications and that all references be checked.Jan Smith, Island County Sheriff's spokesperson, said the incident was referred to Child Protective Services.CPS's Cindy McDougal said she could not release names or other information, including the status the baby. She did acknowledge that the case had been reported to her agency. We're looking into it, she said Thursday. "