OGDEN -- Tyler Greenhalgh is a hero, and he's got the medal to prove it. The Weber County sheriff's deputy and EMT won the state Emergency Medical Technician of the Year Award after saving an infant that had stopped breathing.
Greenhalgh was awarded Wednesday by the Utah Department of Health's Bureau of Emergency Medical Services. Greenhalgh has worked in the sheriff's office for 10 years.
He said he first became an EMT for personal reasons.
"I have little ones of my own and wanted to know what to do in an emergency situation," Greehalgh said.
On Feb. 15, 2012, Greenhalgh was dispatched to an infant in cardiac arrest in a Washington Terrace neighborhood. He said he was just around the corner and arrived on the scene in seconds.
Greenhalgh had been told it was a small child, but he was caught off guard when he found it was a child younger than a month old.
"I wasn't quite ready when I discovered it was a 2- to 4-week-old preemie, but I was able to snap out of it and fell back on my training," he said.
The infant was found motionless, blue in color and not breathing.
Greenhalgh began resuscitation immediately. After 30 seconds of chest compressions, the infant took a gasp of air.
Greenhalgh became alarmed and thought that it might be the infant's last breath, but soon he felt a heartbeat return.
The baby could not immediately breathe on its own, so Greenhalgh continued compressions for another two minutes until it could.
Paramedics arrived, and Greenhalgh carried the infant to the ambulance.
"The paramedic pricked him to start the IV, and I was relieved to hear him cry," he said.
As the baby was transported to Ogden Regional Medical Center, Greenhalgh followed the ambulance and supported the baby's mother until her husband arrived.
"It was one of the most emotional things I've dealt with," he said. "I called my wife afterward and sort of broke down."
Greenhalgh returned to the emergency room later to find that the baby had a severe case of respiratory syncytial virus, RSV, an infection that affects the lungs and breathing passages. It's especially dangerous in infants.
The baby was taken via helicopter to Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City.
Days later, Greenhalgh was contacted via Facebook by the child's mother, and he has been in contact with the family ever since.
"It's really strange to have held this baby in my hands, and now he's walking and talking. He's almost 2 years old now," he said.
Greenhaulgh checks in with family once in a while. His kids have even made friends with the infant's older brothers.
He was surprised to hear that he had won EMT of the Year.
"Deputy Greenhalgh has the self-fortitude to move in and take care of the situation," Dr. Marc Babitz, division director of the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, said at the award ceremony.
"If it weren't for Deputy Greenhalgh's quick actions, the baby would not be alive today."
The Emergency Medical Service Awards are held each year, rewarding those in the field, including doctors, nurses and medics.
Since the incident, Greenhalgh has completed advanced EMT training and was promoted to corporal.