Bystander intervention possibly saved baby’s life in situation over the weekend

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Sunday morning HEMSI crews responded to a 911 call that a baby was in a car and the mother was passed out in the parking lot of the Oakwood Avenue Kroger.

"We had no idea how long the child and the lady had been in the vehicle. Fortunately a person that was walking by the vehicle was very alert to their surroundings, and saw it and tried to stimulate it and then activated the 911 system," said Don Webster, HEMSI Chief Operations Officer.

Webster said the baby is between four and five months old. Paramedics assessed both mother and child on the scene.

"The baby was getting in the range of being overheated. [Paramedics] Treated the child, transported the child to Huntsville Hospital Women's and Children," he said.

In the process, HEMSI also notified Huntsville Police and DHR, "We assessed the mother on scene, and left her in custody with the Huntsville Police Department," said Webster.

It remains unknown as to why the woman was passed out in the car in the first place.

"We don't know whether it was from a medical issue, whether it was from an overdose, alcohol issue, we're not for sure at this time. That is being investigated by Huntsville Police Department," said Webster.

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Webster said if the bystander hadn't intervened it could have been a much worse situation. Life or death, that is the difference bystander awareness can make, and the reason it's so important.

"Thank goodness for people being vigilant and aware of the surroundings, and taking action. This gentleman got involved and could've very much saved this child's life," he said.

Webster said whether you're in a grocery store parking lot, or somewhere else, vigilance is always a  good thing.

"If they had just walked by the vehicle and they had not looked in, there's no telling how long it could've been. It could've been much more of a disaster or catastrophe than what it was," he explained.

If you see something, say something.

"If you can not gain the attention of that person or they appear to be unconscious or unresponsive, then the first thing to do is notify 911," said Webster.

After you call 911, if the situation is severe enough Webster said that's when you can evaluate what needs to be done.

"If you do see a child in that car, then if at that time if the child is unconscious or unresponsive, or somebody else in that vehicle, then you would probably go ahead and consider other measures or taking more aggressive action," he said.

WHNT News 19 is still working to find out the status of the mother. We have reached out to Huntsville Police Department for comment.