Making A Difference

Fri, 09/18/2015 - 7:15am

I bumped into Petie Hunter, owner of Island Hardware, recently and she told me about witnessing an event she thought deserved attention.

On the evening of Saturday, Sept. 5, Petie had just disembarked from the high speed ferry on the Narragansett side when she saw two police officers running. Her first thought was that they were pursuing someone, but she quickly realized that they were responding to a call.

It turns out that a 911 call had emanated from the ferry Petie had just left. A baby was not breathing. A father emerged running with his daughter in his arms followed by the baby’s mother crying hysterically. The responding officer, Sgt. Kyle Hemmerle, grabbed the infant, patted its back, and dislodged mucous from her throat with his finger. The baby gasped for breath and began breathing.

It turns out that Sgt. Hemmerle is an Iraq War veteran with his own infant at home. He was shaken, but tremendously relieved that he could be of assistance.

We hear a lot in the news these days about charges of police malfeasance. We need to be reminded that these public servants are called to risk their own lives at times and, in this case, even save lives.

Incidentally, Sgt. Hemmerle was assisted by Traffic Officer Thomas Cauchon, who was on duty assisting ferry passengers to cross the busy road. He was one of those individuals who we all see on every trip to the mainland. Those officers are unfailingly polite and responsive even under chaotic conditions such as would have been the case on this past Labor Day weekend.

So, thanks to Petie Hunter for pursuing recognition for a public servant. Thanks to Sergeant Hemmerle for saving a life, and to Officer Cauchon and his colleagues for their steady service.

Thanks to all of them for making a difference.