An off-duty RCMP officer from Nanimo managed to save the life of a young man after he was swept along a highway on the North Island last week.
According to a press release from Constable Ninemo RCMP, Dennis Laforst successfully performed CPR on a 17-month-old girl on the highway between Voss and Seward on August 30 for several minutes.
LaForst was heading north to Alert Bay with her two children to meet her husband when she saw a panicked man grab the child and jump out of the car. She took a U-turn and stopped, advising the baby’s father that she knew first aid.
“At the time, she basically threw the baby at me and said she was suffocating and couldn’t breathe,” LaForst said in the release.
He said the baby had a “very weak pulse” and the officer tried to counterattack to get rid of whatever was missing.
“Out of fear, the child did not respond and could not find the pulse,” the release noted. “She knew in that look that he had died.”
Laforst started CPR, alternating between mouth-to-mouth restoration and finger pressure on the baby’s chest.
After several minutes, the baby began to wheeze and began to cry once the airway was clear.
“Collectively, it was the most beautiful voice we’ve ever heard,” LaForst said.
“There were a lot of heartfelt hugs and tears after that,” the release noted. The boy’s parents went to a Voss clinic and then to a Campbell Bell River hospital, where the boy was discharged that evening with a clean bill of health.
The family arrived on the island of Vancouver by ferry from Prince Rupert and was traveling south in the Cellular Dead Zone in case of an emergency.
“The first thing they want to do when they return home is to enroll in an emergency first aid course,” he told the Constable.