By Douglas W. Motley
Running Springs Firefighter-Paramedic Cody Snow was honored on July 21 for saving the life of an infant child during a drowning incident last Thanksgiving Day.
In commending him for his actions, Fire Chief Michael Vasquez said, “Not only has your experience and education given you the ability to act decisively, but your devotion, courage and responsibility saved the life of a child who had an exceedingly rare chance of survival. Due to your quick and appropriate response, that young child is alive today.”
During one of the most devastating snowstorms in recent memory, which occurred during last year’s Thanksgiving week, Snow responded to a report of a child reported missing from a residence in the nearby community of Fredalba.
Upon arrival, Snow discovered the not quite 2-year-old girl lying face-down in a small pond in front of the home. According to Snow, the child, while playing in the snow, had apparently fallen into the ice-covered pond. Because the child was not breathing and had only a faint pulse, he immediately began cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), to no avail.
Next, said Snow, he placed the patient into his paramedic ambulance – which was outfitted with snow tires and chains – and wrapped the girl in blankets in an attempt to raise her body temperature to a normal level. “We also had the heater in the ambulance running full blast,” he said.
Snow continued resuscitation efforts, as the ambulance driver plowed through four feet of snow in a blinding snowstorm with lights and siren engaged (Code 3) on their way to Loma Linda University Medical Center.
“At the bottom of the mountain, she started breathing and, by the time we got to Redlands, she began crying,” Snow said. The unnamed child was subsequently treated for her injuries at LLUMC and sent home with her parents four days later.
Referencing last year’s Thanksgiving week blizzard-like storm, Snow said, “It was one of our busiest weeks ever. There were lots of calls, back-to-back calls, and I was on duty for 96 hours.”
Snow, who was 29 at the time of the incident, grew up in Lake Arrowhead and began emergency medical technician training at Crafton Hills College after graduating from Rim of the World High School – where he was enrolled in the school’s ROP Fire Science program – in 2008. Next, he transferred to Victor Valley College, where he completed its one-year fire academy and paramedic training program.
Snow said he served as a paid-call firefighter for the Running Springs Fire Department for four years prior to becoming a fulltime firefighter in 2011. He said he was inspired to pursue a firefighting career by his father, who is a firefighter in Los Angeles County.
Noting that Snow’s July 21 award presentation had been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Vasquez told The Alpine Mountaineer, “Cody (who is also in charge of the department’s training program) is an extreme asset, one of those employees who is energetic and passionate about their job.”
In addition to a certificate and a letter of commendation, Chief Vasquez presented Snow with a belt buckle commemorating his actions “which display three elements of Firemanship: devotion, courage and loyalty.”
Chief Vasquez concluded his letter by saying, “As your fire chief, I am proud of your actions and your devotion to this department and community of Running Springs.”