Infant Saved by Training and Quick Action

March 2019

Ten-month-old Phoenix Ford is alive and doing fine because J.J. Jalomo had the right training and acted decisively to use it.

Jalomo has been an employee of the Water District for 21 years and since 2011 has been supervisor of the District’s pipelines and grounds maintenance department.  On a recent afternoon he and crew member Audrey Paty were driving through Ingleside on the way to a job site when they observed a family in distress in the Dairy Queen parking lot.

The Nathan Ford family had been driving to Portland on March 21st.  Mr. Ford stopped the family car when Phoenix started to gag.  Cristin Ford, the infant’s mother, removed the baby from his car seat to see what was causing the problem when the gagging turned to choking.

“My husband started hitting him on the back and I was on my knees looking into his mouth trying to see what was in there,” Mrs. Ford said.  At that point Jalomo and Paty pulled up and asked if they could help.  She thought the obstruction had been cleared.

Then Phoenix began choking again.  Mrs. Ford reports that Jalomo jumped from his truck saying, “Let me see him. I just took this class last month.”

J.J. started performing the infant Heimlich maneuver on the infant while Audrey called 911 for help.  The maneuver worked and help from EMS was not needed. 

Mrs. Ford had high praise for J.J. and Audrey who were “calm, cool and collected” in helping to save Phoenix’s life. 

First aid training provided to Water District employees clearly played a role in providing the confidence and skills that led to a happy ending for the Ford Family.  Water District General Manager Brian Williams reflected on the outcome:  “As a manager you are always wondering if there is value to the time and expense of some of our training.  Enough said!”

Jalomo and Paty are part of the Water District team that takes care of the non-mechanical portions of pump stations, meters, pipeline corridors, grounds and the Naismith Reservoir.  They also take meter readings and collect field samples.