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LPD’s Travelle Smith earns award for saving life of non-responsive infant

“I never will forget him” grandmother says of Officer Smith

By Josh Bootsma

LANSING, Ill. (December 19, 2022) – As John and Chiller Bailey were babysitting their 11-month-old grandson King on November 11, he started choking and became unresponsive. John quickly called 911 while Chiller tried to revive her grandson.

“I was panicking and crying,” she said, “I tried to do CPR but I was too upset.”

Lansing Police Officer Travelle Smith was on the north side of town when he received the dispatch call that King was non-responsive. He made his way south, at one point driving on the sidewalk to avoid stopped cars on his way to the call.

Smith beat paramedics to the scene by a few minutes, finding King completely limp and unresponsive.

“When he came through the door, the first thing I did — because he just looked like a giant savior or something — I pretty much threw [King] to him and said, ‘Please help my son,'” Chiller Bailey said.

Smith, who’s been an officer with LPD for 15 months, attempted CPR on King, laying the infant on the ground and compressing his chest with two fingers, careful to avoid injuring him.

“When that didn’t work, I gave him pats on the back, and then put him back on the floor to do compressions again,” Smith said. “He was still unresponsive so I put him on my shoulder and tried that method. … I put him on the floor one more time and did mouth-to-mouth, hoping that would help open his airways.”

Lansing paramedics took over care of King, and transported him to a local hospital. By the time he arrived, the 11-month-old was alert and responding to medical staff, thanks to Smith’s initial efforts to revive him.

Chiller Bailey said her grandson’s health has completely recovered after the incident, and King recently celebrated his first birthday.

Travelle Smith
From left: King, Chiller Bailey, Officer Travelle Smith, and John Bailey. “I never will forget him,” Chiller Bailey said of Smith. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

“I just appreciate him so much,” Chiller Bailey said of Smith. “I just never will forget him. I never will forget him.”

Life Saving Award

Chief Al Phillips presented Smith with a Life Saving Award before the Village Board of Trustees on December 6.

“Travelle saved this child’s life,” Phillips said. “I’m holding this kid right now knowing he wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Travelle. … Travelle, thank you for everything you’ve done for this Village, for this family, and for King.”

Travelle Smith
Travelle Smith receives a hug from Chiller Bailey as the gallery at the December 6 Village Board Meeting applauds his life-saving efforts. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

The Lansing Police Department is located at 2710 170th Street. For emergencies, call 911.

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Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.

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