Police Officer Peter Cummings received a lifesaving award for giving emergency aid to Mateo Parker, who had just been delivered by his mom, Daydra Parker, in a car and was not breathing. Mary Thurwachter/The Coastal Star
By Mary Thurwachter
Officer Peter Cummings was given a lifesaving award — and a standing ovation— for saving the life of an infant last fall.
Police Chief Sean Scheller, who made the presentation during the Jan. 11 Lantana Town Council meeting, said that on Oct. 22 police were dispatched to a woman who called saying she was delivering her own baby in her car. Since she was not familiar with the area, she wasn’t able to tell dispatchers exactly where she was. They were, however, able to track her location — at Lantana Road and North Broadway — through her phone.
The baby’s father had been driving the woman to the hospital, but the birth couldn’t wait and the mother, Daydra Parker, delivered her son, Mateo, herself in the car.
“Officer Peter Cummings was the first to arrive and found the woman holding the infant in the passenger seat,” Scheller said. “The infant was not breathing and beginning to lose color.”
Cummings, 30, had a suction bulb in his equipment bag and used it remove mucous from the baby’s nose and mouth until the baby began to cry. Palm Beach County Fire Rescue transported both mother and baby to JFK Medical Center, where the baby made a full recovery.
Daydra Parker brought her baby to the award presentation and expressed her gratitude to Cummings and all first responders who were there for her.
“It was a very exciting moment in my life, but I was very scared,” she said, attempting to hold back her tears.
Cummings has since been promoted to investigator at the Lantana Police Department, where he has worked for 8½ years.
“I was glad I was able to help her,” he said.
This wasn’t the first time he saved a newborn, Cummings said. While the first child also survived, Cummings did not have a suction bulb then and bought one shortly after so he was better prepared the next time.