Video Shows Moment Deputy Saves Life of Toddler Choking on Cheeto

Dashcam video from the patrol car of a Santa Fe County Sheriff's deputy shows the moment the deputy saved the life of a one-year-old girl who was choking on a Cheeto.

The footage was shared on the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Facebook page this week. Deputy Sheriff Patrick Ficke conducted a routine traffic stop on a vehicle after noticing it was moving erratically while he was patrolling Interstate 25 on June 5, the caption on the post said.

"He commenced a routine traffic stop and immediately realized something was wrong," the caption read. "We invite you to view the video and witness the life-saving measures taken by this Santa Fe County Deputy Sheriff to save a one year old toddler. Great work Deputy Ficke!"

In the video, Ficke explained that after he initiated the stop, the vehicle's driver—the father of the one-year-old child—jumped out.

That "is usually a red flag for law enforcement," Ficke said.

So Ficke exited his patrol car and was informed by the man that his infant daughter was not breathing.

Ficke said he "could see the baby was stiff and purple" so he called for an ambulance and began performing the Heimlich maneuver for an infant.

"I checked her airway, I could see she was choking on something I turned her around and started performing the Heimlich maneuver for potentially an infant," he said.

He added: "After about 45 seconds to a minute of giving the Heimlich, the Cheeto which she was choking on came out and she started crying where I turned her back up and just tried to comfort her."

Ficke added that he was glad he was there to help the child.

"It was pretty scary for a bit," he said. "One thing with calls you never want to see a child hurt. So I was just lucky I was there at the right time and able to help her."

Quick-Thinking Deputy

Several people on Facebook praised Ficke's quick-thinking in comments on the post.
"Congratulations on how you handled the situation," wrote Edward Romero. "By not overreacting to the fathers exit you were able to evaluate the situation and save the life of an infant."

Mark Martinex wrote: "Outstanding! That child lived due to your heroic efforts."

Janet Lehto added: "God bless you Deputy Ficke. You were in the right place at the right time."

Victoria Huggins said: "Thank you Deputy Ficke! Just one more family who will sleep well into these future nights because of heroic actions of a law enforcement team! Awesome job!"

Police Officer Saves Choking 1-Year-Old
A police officer saved a 1-year-old girl's life by performing the Heimlich maneuver. Santa Fe County Sheriff via Storyful