Mich. firefighter saves own daughter's life

Jeffrey Ballard's 8-year-old daughter, who suffers from asthma, stopped breathing and became unconscious in the car

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — A firefighter-paramedic helped save his daughter's life after she stopped breathing and became unconscious in the car.

ABC6onyourside.com reported that Traverse City Fire Department firefighter-paramedic Jeffrey Ballard was on the way to the hospital with his 8-year-old daughter when she said she was having trouble breathing. His daughter suffers from asthma and started having complications last week.

"At the halfway point, at that stop sign, she went unconscious," Ballard said. "Complete respiratory arrested, stopped breathing completely. She said, 'Daddy, help me,' and then just slumped over."

He couldn't make it to the hospital, but the Long Lake Township Fire Department was close enough.

"We were working, giving him as many hands as we could help support life functions, doing rescue breathing for her," Long Lake Fire Chief Andy Down said.

Firefighters called an ambulance and Ballard continued administering CPR.

"I got to keep her alive, I got to do what I need to keep her alive," Ballard said.

Ballard said saving his daughter was harder than anything he has had to do at work, according to the report.

"I honestly don't think I was calm, but I had enough sense about me to get stuff done," he said.

Ballard's daughter spent a couple days in the hospital and is doing OK now.

"She's already been back to the fire station, and it's always great to see the fruits of labor, a positive day that things end very well," Chief Down said.

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