Richard Mayer recently was very happy to finally become a practicing police officer. He had gone through the challenging and lengthy law enforcement training process and assorted tests to arrive at this point—and finally on Friday it was time for Mayer’s first day on the job.
During lunchtime, he joined a few of his colleagues at a Chick-fil-A in Hobart, Indiana to have a meal together. Mayer likely hoped to use this opportunity to learn more about his co-workers, and also get a feel for what his future as a police officer would look like.
The officers were enjoying their food, when Mayer could tell that something nearby was very wrong. As he had been trained, he scanned the room for possible trouble, and he noticed a mother seemed to be having a problem with her 15-month-old daughter. Suddenly, the woman grabbed the toddler and rushed over to the police officers’ table.
A woman’s toddler was turning purple.
“She came running over with her daughter, Charlotte, and she was frantic and everything like that,” Mayer told ABC. “We noticed that her daughter was choking. She was purple in the face. Our first reaction, all three of us, stood right up.”
The woman, Melanie Hasse, begged the police officers to help her daughter.
She said she had given Charlotte a piece of apple, but it had become lodged in her throat and she couldn’t get it out.
From his recent police training, Mayer knew exactly what to do.
Taking Charlotte from her mother, Mayer flipped the girl upside down and began back blows to dislodge the apple. An additional officer who was with him, Officer Ramos, helped in the process.
“I grabbed her and then Officer Ramos was to my right. He helped me flip her over and we did the back slaps on her,” Mayer said.
Fortunately, the procedure quickly worked, and everyone in the room breathed a deep sigh of relief when Charlotte managed to cough out the apple.
“I’m just so thankful he was there at the right time,” Hasse told WGN. “I don’t think this was a coincidence that this was his first day. I think he was meant to be somebody who protects and who saves.”
“I’m just so thankful for him.”
While this was Mayer’s first day on the job, it was even more amazing that it was the very first action he had taken as a police officer.
“This is what he was meant to do, to save lives in some kind of way,” Hasse said to ABC.
If Mayer’s first day was any indication of how the rest of his work as a police officer is going to go, he’s off to a great start!