When a panicked family ran up to him with a baby that had turned blue and wasn’t breathing, retired Lawrence Police Sgt. and part-time Nebraska Furniture Mart security guard Mark Warren took action.
Warren calmed the father down, laid the baby out on a security desk and started CPR.
The baby came to, and another person showed up, and identified herself as having CPR training. She continued to monitor the baby, which was resuscitated and breathing by the time paramedics arrived, as Warren started to corral the many family members away from the scene. His employer last week gave him an award for saving the baby’s life on Nov. 19.
“It’s a good feeling,” Warren said, adding he knew that there was no guarantee of a good outcome. “I’ve seen things go the other way with small children, and it’s very traumatic for everybody.”
Even while the family around him was panicking — the child’s mother was fainting on the floor —Warren was calm and began administering infant CPR. The security force at Nebraska Furniture Mart is trained in CPR, Warren said. He relied on that training, and instructed the father to quit attempting potentially destructive chest compressions.
“I was just in the right place at the right time,” Warren said.
Warren’s boss, Mark Blackwell, loss prevention manager at the Nebraska Furniture Mart at the Legends shopping center in Kansas City, Kan., said the company has several awards its security guards were eligible for, including the life-saving award.
“We’d never given out a life-saving award before,” across the entire company, Blackwell said.
He said it made him proud as a supervisor to see one of his employees revert to his training in a crisis situation. As part of Warren’s recognition, the surveillance video of the incident was shown to the store’s support team, Blackwell said.
“There was not a dry eye in the place,” he said.
This story has been updated to reflect the following correction: An article in the Journal-World about a retired police sergeant who saved a baby in a Nebraska Furniture Mart misidentified the training of a woman who came to help. She is not a registered nurse, but does have CPR training.