ALBERTVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — A Marshall County school resource officer (SRO) is receiving praise after saving a baby’s life at the Marshall County Middle School basketball tournament.
“I’ve done adult and senior CPR, but not on a kid… that was a first,” said Jonathon Bearden, the school resource officer at Albertville High School.
For Bearden, it was just another normal day on the job — until one woman ran up to him and said her baby wasn’t breathing.
“I look up and a lady is just running from the bleachers, holding her baby out in front of her,” Bearden said. “She’s saying, ‘He’s not breathing, he’s not breathing.’ I don’t know if dad mode… cop mode… first responder mode kicked in, but I took him from her and flipped him over, started some back blows, tilted him down.”
“I heard a little cough, and then he started crying and I said if ‘We’re crying, we’re breathing!'” exclaimed Bearden.
As a police officer and father of two, Bearden says he relied on his instincts when the mother approached him with her child.
“The police and our fire guys — we co-train and do joint training together as far as CPR, first aid, and other things like that,” he continued. “I think as a dad you kind of, in your mind, know that you might have to do it… so I just did what I was trained to do.”
Albertville High School Principal Jordan Phillips says they’re lucky to have Bearden in their school system.
“I’ve known Officer Bearden for the last 20 years,” said Phillips. “He was a former student of mine at Crossville High School when I taught there. I’m just proud of the guy and everything he does for our school. It just shows you how education is so small as a community. We’ve come full circle to where he was my student and know we work together.”
Phillips hopes this will shine a light on the work SROs put in every day.
“I think it shows what the job is really about,” Phillips added. “Police sometimes get a bad rep and unrightfully so, and those guys are here to serve and protect. Officer Bearden showed that.”
“I think the role we play in the school environment is crucial,” Bearden said. “I think what we do every day is almost as important as, maybe CPR, or anything. I don’t like the spotlight. Some people have called me and said you’re my hero… and I’m like no man. It’s just — the kids call it “the ick” nowadays. I’m just trying to shine a good light on the police and what we do every day.”
Bearden told News 19 that he has been in contact with the family since the incident. He says the baby is doing well and was sent home from the hospital earlier this week.