On Friday, April 15th, AFD Engine-21 and Rescue-21 crews Lt. Ron Herrera, Driver Phil Preciado, Firefighter Aaron Sandoval, Firefighter Chester Fuller, and from Resuce-21 Lt. Richard Barela and Driver Timothy Woodard were honored for reviving a two year old baby boy who had drowned. Also honored was AFD Chaplain Lieutenant Jerome Rael, who has assisted the family since the incident.
Each week Mayor Richard J. Berry honors at least one public safety employee for going above and beyond the call of duty in performing their work.
On March 23, Engine-21 and Rescue-21 received an emergency call for a pediatric drowning in the northwest area of Albuquerque. When the rescue teams arrived, they found the child’s grandfather performing CPR and trying to resuscitate the baby. The baby (named Asher) was pale, unconscious, unresponsive and with a very faint pulse.
The team secured Asher’s airway, after clearing it of water several times. They continued performing CPR upon the child. Finally he took a breath and shortly after he regained a steady pulse.
Baby Asher was transported to the hospital in very serious condition. He is still recovering and is reported to be doing well. According to Asher’s grandfather, APD Officer Manny Garcia, Asher had been heavily sedated until several days ago, when he opened his eyes and began smiling and playfully interacting with family members again. Officer Garcia advises that Chaplain Rael has spent countless hours with the family, providing them comfort and checking on young Asher’s condition.
“We often hear stories of kids who drown and the outcome is tragic. I am so grateful to these firefighters whose efforts saved baby Asher’s life. They are heroes in the true sense of the word, and I know they will always be heroes to Asher’s family” said Mayor Berry.