In the past two months, California Highway Patrol Officer Rick Murray has done more than keep the speeds down on Sacramento freeways: He has used life-saving skills to restore breathing to both a toddler and a woman.
In the first incident, on Feb. 13, Murray, a motorcycle officer, was on patrol when he rolled up to three stopped vehicles in the center median of Highway 50, east of Highway 99. As he arrived, Cassie Moore showed Murray her 18-month-old daughter.
Moore's child had stopped breathing.
"The baby was absolutely blue," said Murray, a 17-year CHP veteran.
Murray radioed for medical aid and then took the child from her mother. Murray opened up the toddler's mouth and noticed the airway was blocked so he struck her back a few times to dislodge vomit from the child's throat.
That started the child breathing and crying, a welcome sound. The child was transported to the hospital and is now home and doing well.
The second incident, on Tuesday, occurred after as Murray responded to vehicles that had been involved in a crash on Highway 50 near 16th Street. Both motorists had driven to a nearby street for safety and to await CHP arrival.
A person seated in one of the involved vehicles, Amy Huang, 36, lost consciousness. Her husband called out for help, and Murray, 45, went to her aid, helping to carry Huang to a nearby sidewalk.
According to a CHP press release, Huang had a rapid, but weak pulse - and she was not breathing. Murray took his helmet off and tried to feel a breath on his cheek.
"I began to give her what are called 'rescue breaths,' " or artificial respiration, he said. Slowly, Huang began to breathe and regain consciousness.
She was transported to the hospital and kept overnight. Huang is reportedly home and resting comfortably.
Murray is a qualified emergency medical technician, trained at the CHP academy. He has kept up with his training through the years.
"I did what I was trained to do," said Murray on Friday. "When I saw them needing help, I just went down the checklist that has been drilled into my head. Nothing special. Officers do this throughout the state every day."