Officer Saves Baby on Side of Maryland Highway

A baby had a seizure on a Maryland highway Sunday afternoon and a Montgomery County police officer was able to save her life.

Nine-month-old Kenzlee Mae Cushman was headed home to Charles Town, West Virginia with her grandparents on Sunday when she froze and then became unresponsive, her family and the Montgomery County Police Department said Monday.

Kenzlee's grandparents spotted a police officer on the northbound shoulder of I-270 in Gaithersburg, near the Muddy Branch Road exit, and her grandmother ran toward the patrol car with the child in her arms.

Officer James Herman cradled the infant and performed CPR, seeing she was ashen.

"It was amazing how fast the baby came back," he told News4. "The eyes came back. The baby became responsive, tracking our fingers." 

As Herman radioed for an ambulance, a Good Samaritan stopped to offer help. The man said he was an out-of-state firefighter, but no one caught his name, police said. 

Kenzlee was rushed to a hospital and on Monday evening was recovering in a West Virginia hospital, where she previously had heart surgery. Her family lives in Charles Town.

MCPD said Monday afternoon the department sought to identify and locate the good Samaritan who stopped to help. Within hours, members of the Firefighter Nation Facebook page said he was Brody Channell, a firefighter in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Channell had traveled to Maryland because his father, Capt. Dennis A. Channell, was honored by the National Fallen Firefighters Association at a ceremony attended by President Barrack Obama. Channell's father died in the line of duty Feb. 10, 2014 while responding to an EMS call.

On a phone call Monday night, Channell said it was fate that led him to little Kenzlee. 

"I think it was meant to be. It was a right place, right time situation where I could assist the officer in what he was doing and save a life," he said. 

MCPD thanked Herman and Channell. 

"A tip of the helmet again to Officer James Herman and to Firefighter Brody Channell for stopping to help Officer Herman and the young child," the department said.

Cmdr. David Falcinelli praised Herman, an 11-year veteran of the department who now works in the Second District.

"He followed his training and his efforts resulted in a positive outcome," Falcinelli said in a statement. "He is an excellent representative of the dedication and professionalism that Montgomery County Police officers possess.”

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