Off-Duty Officer Notices Woman on Side of Road with Choking Baby, Performs CPR as Child Turns Blue


 By Amanda Thomason  August 25, 2021 at 4:15pm

Emergencies don’t wait for first responders to be on the clock. Even when police officers are off duty, they jump in to help when they’re needed.

Officer Gilbert Troche of the San Pablo Police Department was out enjoying his downtime with his family in Livermore, California. They’d just caught a movie and were driving home when he saw something suspicious.

A woman was on the side of the road near a stopped car, her baby against her shoulder and clearly in distress.

Seeing her in such a state, Troche knew she needed help, even if he didn’t know what kind.

“She appeared to be crying hysterically,” he said, according to KRON-TV. “She was holding her baby kind of against her shoulder, so I stopped the car, I jumped out, and I went over to her.”

The baby’s face was turning blue. It wasn’t breathing.

Troche quickly began to perform CPR on the infant while the mother tried to clear its mouth.

In a video of the incident, the officer can be seen delivering back blows. He looks back toward his family in the car and tells them to call 911.

Within a few minutes, the baby’s throat was cleared. After it threw up, it started crying — a beautiful sound to all involved.

“This past weekend our very own Officer Troche was out enjoying his time off with his family when they came across a mother stopped on the road in a state of distress,” the San Pablo Police Department posted on Facebook on Wednesday.

“Officer Troche realized her baby was having a medical emergency and he leapt into action. Officer Troche began life-saving measures on the infant and was able to get the baby breathing again.

“Officer Troche’s heroic actions are nothing short of a miracle and we are extremely proud to have him as a member of our Police Department. His quick thinking and decisive action no doubt saved a life.”

Family members and strangers have shared the story and called him a hero for his intervention, but he has brushed the label aside.

“I definitely don’t feel like a hero,” he said. “I think that anybody in that situation that [had] seen her there as distraught as she was would have probably tried to do the same thing.”

But on that day, for that mother and child, it was Troche who stepped up and helped out. No doubt he’ll always be a hero to them.

Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she’s strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.

As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn’t really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.

She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she’s had teal hair.

With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children’s books with her husband, Edward.


Austin, Texas

Languages Spoken

English und ein bißchen Deutsch

Topics of Expertise

Faith, Animals, Cooking

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