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August 7, 2013

Ariz. EMT saves boy, 3, who was choking on a quarter

Rural/Metro Southwest

TUCSON, Ariz. — After completing a medical transport to St. Mary’s Hospital around 9:30 p.m. on August 5th, Southwest Ambulance EMT Jason Hamilton was cleaning the ambulance and waiting for the next call when the night changed.

“I had finished getting the rig cleaned, waiting for my partner off to the side parking lot at the ER, when a car comes flying into the parking lot the wrong way, horn blowing and the driver screaming” said Hamilton. He was startled by the events and immediately went to the car when it stopped at the ambulance entrance doors for the emergency room.

A three year old boy was in the back seat of the vehicle, struggling to breathe, his parents screaming in fear that the boy swallowed a nickel. Without hesitation, Jason offered assistance to the family. Carrying the child toward the doorway, while security attempted to get the secured access doors opened; following proper CPR guidelines Jason administered two back blows to the child dislodging a quarter from the child’s airway in the ER parking lot. The child was taken into the emergency room for further evaluation.

Contacted by the Charge Nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital, Southwest Ambulance Medical Supervisor Michael Balta passed along a message from the facility, “Jason’s quick actions saved this child’s life, he was awesome.” Providing the details of the event, Hamilton said “I am still shaking when I think about it.”

Southwest Ambulance provides medical transportation throughout the Pima County area including basic life support transports for the City of Tucson, where Hamilton is assigned, but you never know when or where the department members will put their training to excellent use.