In the KMC, caregivers are required to be Red Cross certified to ensure maximum child safety.
Fortunately, many caregivers never have to experience a real-life scenario in which they have to apply these skills. However, one 86th Force Support Squadron caregiver’s training was recently put to the test.
Sean Tatum, 86th FSS caregiver, received the Red Cross Lifesaver Award Oct. 8 for the actions he took on July 1 to save a child’s life.
The Red Cross Lifesaver Award is given to recognize a lifesaving act performed by an individual who utilized skills learned through Red Cross health and safety training.
On the day of the incident during the daily snack time, Jackson Dalmo, who was 16 months old at the time, began showing signs of choking. Tatum’s instinct set in fast as he quickly acted.
“All I could think about was, ‘I need to help this boy,’” Tatum said. “His face turned red and he was flailing his arms. I knew I had to do something.”
Tatum explained that he performed back blows to dislodge the food and then used the finger-sweep method to remove it from Jackson’s mouth.
After the commotion subsided, he informed Jackson’s mother, Stephanie Dalmo, of the incident.
“I work in the (Child Development Center) in a different building, and (on that day) Sean came over and nonchalantly told me my son had choked on his snack,” Stephanie Dalmo said. “My first thought (before I understood the severity of the incident) was, ‘Did you fill out a safety report?’ Later, I was told he used (Red Cross) lifesaving moves, and that’s when it hit me: He saved my baby.”
Jackson’s parents said they are eternally grateful for Tatum’s quick response to the situation, which ultimately saved their son’s life.
“Sean is an incredible young man,” said Master Sgt. John Dalmo, 76th Airlift Squadron communications systems operator and father of Jackson. “He’s kind, intelligent, compassionate, and he really cares about the children. Any parent who has a child in Sean’s room (at the CDC) knows how awesome he is. We’re very lucky to have him in our lives. How do you thank someone who saved your child’s life? There’s nothing I can do besides hug him every time I see him.”
Tatum said even though he was just doing his job, he felt very honored when he was informed he would be receiving the Red Cross Lifesaver Award.
“The CPR course helped me a lot,” Tatum said. “Without it, I’m not sure I’d have been as confident in the situation. I’m very thankful for the training I’ve learned through the Red Cross.”
The Red Cross Adult and Pediatric Automated External Defibrillator and CPR Red Cross course is available to anyone who is interested.
To sign up for the course, visit the Red Cross website at www.redcross.org; or to sign up for a course in the KMC area, visit the Ramstein Air Base website at www.ramstein.af.mil and click on the Red Cross icon on the bottom right-hand corner of the page.
To contact the Ramstein Red Cross office, call 480-2171 or 06371-47-2171.