Texas fire chief helps save life of 18-month-old

Joseph Lindaman, the Gun Barrel City fire chief, helped safe the life of an 18-month-old. (KLTV photo)
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GUN BARREL CITY, Texas (KLTV)

Right place. Right time. Right training.

An East Texas fire chief helped save an 18-month-old baby’s life.

“I was making my way through Harbor Point and a lady walked out into the street and she was waving her hands and I went ahead and moved forward,” said Joseph Lindaman, the Gun Barrel City fire chief.

“She said that her baby was drowning.”

Lindaman knew exactly what he had to do. But getting to the child wasn’t the easiest task.

“Of course I put the truck in park, jumped out ran towards the back yard,” said Lindaman.

“I ran into obstructions on the gate at the back fence, ran back through the house, tripped over a dog, and finally made my way out back where a young lady was doing back blows on a baby.”

Lindaman credits the woman with helping to save the baby’s life because of what she had already started doing.

“I continued what she was doing and listened for air movement and I gave a breath and the baby started doing like a reflex breathing just on and off every few seconds,” said Lindaman.

“The face was blue/gray, purple around the lips.”

Lindaman said the situation was eerily familiar.

“It was emotional,” said Lindaman. “I’ve got a 2-year-old myself and a pool in the backyard, so I can relate.”

Once the baby finally started breathing, Lindaman said he needed a moment.

“It was just really emotional,” said Lindaman, choking up.

“I pretty much got away from everybody else and wanted to go hug my own baby.”

In a Facebook post describing the event, members of the community refer to Lindaman as a hero and say they aren’t surprised that he did what he did.

“I feel humbled,” said Lindaman.

“I think all the firemen and medical people around — first responders — they would all do the same thing, put in this situation.”

Lindaman said God’s hand was at work that day and he believes he was meant to be there.

Lindaman said this is a great reminder for people to consider pool safety; never leaving a child unattended and removing ladders from pools while they aren’t being used.

He also encourages everyone to take a CPR class when they get the chance.