WEST OCEAN CITY — Two
local teens are being called heroes this week after helping to save an
18-month-old girl’s life.
When 16-year-old Austin
Deppe heard cries for help outside his West Ocean City home last Saturday, he
said he wasn’t sure what was going on, but he knew that he had to help in any
way that he could.
“I just had this feeling
like something was going to happen that morning for some reason,” said Deppe.
“We were waiting for the cable guy to do some work at our house, and I looked
out our window and heard screaming, and when I looked, there was a lady
standing on our front lawn holding a little baby calling out for help and the
cable guy was pacing back and forth apparently calling 911. I called out to my
younger brother Chandler [who is 14] and we went running outside without even
Ocean City paramedics
say that Deppe’s quick response was vital in saving the young girl’s life, who
had been allegedly choking on her own vomit after having a febrile seizure,
which is caused by a rapid fever spike in small children.
“By the time we got
there, [Austin] had cleared the clogging in her breathing passage and she was
conscious,” said OC Fire/EMS Paramedic Dwayne Phillips. “He had performed a few
chest compressions on the child to get her breathing again, and those boys did
a fantastic job and deserve a lot of the credit for that little girl being
Ironically, Austin Deppe
had just finished his CPR certification classes a week prior to last Saturday’s
heroic act as he is planning to be a lifeguard in Ocean City at Harbour Island
“I guess I made my first
save before I even started as a lifeguard,” said Deppe. “I guess you could call
me a hero, but honestly, all I know is when I saw how blue that baby was, my
only thought was I was going to do anything that I could do to get her better.”
Deppe said the CPR
training kept him calm throughout the intense situation.
“I knew what to do but
everything was happening so fast I was glad that I had the training so I could
remain reasonably calm, but, it’s just an awesome feeling to know that I was in
the right place at the right time and I was able to help make sure that little
girl was okay in the end,” Austin Deppe said.
Deppe said that although
he hasn’t spoken to the parents of the little girl since the incident, her
parents have expressed their gratitude to his family.
“Later that day after
they got back from the hospital, my mom told me that the father came over and
was very thankful and got choked up when he was thanking her. I can only
imagine how scary that was for them,” said Deppe.
Austin’s father, Damon
Deppe, who is also a former lifeguard with the Ocean City Beach Patrol, said he
was extremely proud of his sons, who were home alone at the time for their
decision to act so quickly and so bravely.
“For a couple of kids to
just go running outside to help when there is obvious panic outside is probably
a bit rare these days, but we think God has a plan for everyone, and I am very
proud of our boys, as they did something truly heroic,” said Damon Deppe, “
Since the incident,
Austin and Chandler Deppe have gone back to being normal teenagers, even though
they are being called heroes from everyone involved last Saturday’s incident.
“I’ve felt great all
week long,” said Deppe. “I’ve been doing a lot of surfing, but I’m just so
happy that everything worked out well and that little girl is okay.”