The Times

Friday, May 11, 2007


HAMILTON — A township firefighter saved the life of a toddler who stopped breathing after the boy fell and struck his head at the Hamilton Little Lads baseball field on Edwards Avenue Wednesday evening, emergency officials said.

The incident happened about 7:25 p.m. when the 23-month-old boy somehow fell and hit his head on a metal fence post and then the concrete pavement near the bleachers, officials said.

Officials said the child stopped breathing after the fall.

Charles “Chuck” Michels, a volunteer with the township’s White Horse Fire Co., happened to be sitting nearby watching his niece play softball.

“I heard a commotion at the other end of the bleachers. A bunch of people were frantic,” the 35-year-old said.

From his vantage point at the top of the bleachers, he then noticed the little boy sprawled out, he said.

He immediately ran down the bleachers toward the child to see if he could help. After a neighbor identified Michels as a firefighter, the crowd surrounding the toddler parted, allowing Michels access.

“He was blue and not breathing. His eyes were rolled back,” Michels said of what he saw when he got to the boy.

Michels, a firefighter for the last seven years who previously trained as an emergency medical technician, assessed the boy’s vital signs. He then started to perform rescue breathing — mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.