Here's another "Frank" story. It was a relatively quiet day, not much had happened to make it memorable in any way. I remember it was cold outside and even though the sun felt warm and inviting through the windows, snow covered the ground. I was dispatching that day. Frank was back in the report writing room, putting the finishing touches on some reports before heading back out to patrol the area one last time before his shift ended. Its funny the things you remember when thinking back on stuff. I remember that Frank loved bubble gum and he was chewing some that was aqua in color. Frank was very confident and self-assured; he sort of had that demeanor like Fonzie of Happy Days, although he didn't look like him. A black leather jacket was part of his police uniform though as he was part of the traffic detail. Years before he had been part of a team when he was with the big city and they had to be perfect in their dress. Not one wrinkle, not one hair out of place, shoes and leather shined to the max. The gum was his only "vice", if you want to call it that, although it was not against any of our rules and regulations.
All of a sudden the outside vestibule door opened and this woman ran in, hysterical. In her arms she held a little girl, who was about three years old. Neither mother or daughter had on coats or shoes. The little girl was limp in her arms and blue in color, obviously not breathing. This young mother lived about the distance of a little over one city block from our station and she had swooped up her child and ran barefoot out of her house in all that snow, through our back parking lot and in through our doors. She had been feeding her daughter and suddenly she had stopped breathing....probably something caught in her throat.
I had to hit a buzzer to unlock the inner door to allow her entry and I did that at the same time I yelled for Frank. He came immediately out of the report writing room, took one look and instantly assessed the situation and took charge. I remember he took the child from the mother and laid her on the floor checking her airway as he did so. At that time he also reached in his own mouth and I saw the aqua gum go flying. Frank performed CPR on the hallway floor and in less than a minute the child was crying and getting her color back. Frank gently lifted her off the floor and handed her to her mother, someone else grabbed a coat to cover them both.
I'll never forget the look of gratitude on that woman's face as she was handed her very much alive, scared and noisy child.....a sound that was, no doubt, music to her ears. She was driven home in a patrol car, the front door of her house still standing wide open. She later took her daughter to her doctor for a checkup and was assured that all was fine. Oh....and we never did find Frank's gum.
As a requirement of our job, we all had to take CPR training but, thankfully, I never had to use it. Frank took it all in stride....just another day in the life of a cop. You never know what's going to happen from one minute to the next and through all that commotion Frank still looked perfect and would have passed big-city inspection with no problem.