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McLEAN - Jeff Smith probably will never forget the day he saved a little boy's life.

Smith, 43, a lineman for Ameren, saved the life of a 2-year-old boy who had stopped breathing because of carbon monoxide poisoning from a faulty car muffler.

"I know it's said that most people wouldn't stop for someone in danger because of liability, but that never crossed my mind," said Smith, of McLean. "I just knew that if I was in that same situation, it is what I would have expected."

Marty Ahrends, director for public relations at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital, Lincoln, said the boy was treated and released from the hospital. Hospital officials would not release the boy's identity.

According to Smith and paramedics reports, it happened like this

Smith was at work in Lincoln on Dec. 13 when a car stopped in front of him and a woman got out, screaming her baby wasn't breathing.

Smith pulled his work truck across the intersection and went to her car. The boy wasn't breathing, so Smith took him from the car and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation, reviving him just as an ambulance pulled onto the scene.

"I think it was around two minutes; I don't remember for sure. I know they got there really fast," said Smith. "I was a little nervous, but I was able to still remember everything I needed to do to help this little boy start breathing."

Paramedics said the child had been overcome by carbon monoxide from a faulty muffler.

Smith did not get the names of the child or his mother, and he left after the paramedics took over.

Ameren workers take a course in CPR, which is important not only in the workplace but also in everyday life, Smith said.

"I ride motorcycles and it's nice to know I could help my buddies if they needed it," said Smith.

Smith's mother, Emma Smith of McLean, said she hopes her son's story teaches a lesson about the importance of CPR and of safe mufflers.

"This should be lesson to any mothers out there who do not know CPR, because it could happen to anyone," said Emma Smith. "I'm so proud of him because he saved this little boy's life. So many people didn't stop, but luckily he did."

"I was just glad to do it," said Smith. "I'm glad I know such an important lifesaving tool. Everyone should be aware of how to give CPR."


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