West Chester Township Fire Department Lt. David Eberhard (right) was presented the “Fire Chief’s Award” for his role in being first on the scene to save a choking infant at a local restaurant in early December. Eberhard, shown being congratulated at a recent township trustees’ meeting by Fire Chief Rick Prinz, is the first firefighter to win the rare award since 2007.

Off-duty West Chester firefighter honored for helping save infant through phone alert

Early last month, David Eberhard received an alert about a child choking at a restaurant nearby, and he was the first to respond to offer care until a full medical unit arrived.

For those actions, he was recently awarded the Butler County township’s “Fire Chief Award,” which was last bestowed in 2007.

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Eberhard was at a local gas station on Dec. 3 when he heard an alert on his mobile device about a child choking at a local restaurant. He dashed to the scene and was the first one to attend to the infant.

He expedited care for an infant in severe respiratory distress by delivering the child to the responding paramedic unit, according West Chester Township Fire Chief Rick Prinz, who presented Eberhard with the award during a recent township trustee meeting.

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“Lt. Eberhard’s actions may seem insignificant but in reality his actions saved precious time, saving this infant’s life,” said Prinz, who added the infant was twice shocked with defibrillator on the way to a hospital and the child survived.

Prinz said Eberhard “is absolutely deserving of honor.”

“He has displayed exceptional public service,” he said.

Eberhard has declined to comment about the incident, but Jason Hartley, captain of one of the township’s EMS squads who has worked with Eberhard for years, described the West Chester firefighter as “a very dedicated guy.”

“He is the silent type who is straight to the point to get the job done,” said Hartley. “He made an active choice.”

Lee Wong, president of the township’s trustees, thanked Eberhard at the award ceremony.

“It’s a very high honor to save someone’s life,” said Wong.