North Hollywood : Officers Honored for Saving Choking Child

Amber Andujar, 13 months old, was the picture of health Friday morning, with rosy cheeks matching the pink jumpsuit that she wore for the special occasion.

But on Nov. 19, Amber's face was blue as she choked on a marble in her North Hollywood home.

Friday, the two Los Angeles Police Department officers who saved her life with their swift response to a 911 call were honored by the Los Angeles City Council.

"Through their training and quickness and sure response, they saved the life of Amber," said City Councilman Joel Wachs, moments before presenting certificates of recognition to officers Robert Dickerson and Ramon Espinosa of the North Hollywood Division of the LAPD.

As the large crowd in the council chamber erupted in applause, Amber laughed happily.

"I just want to thank the two officers for giving my baby back her life," said Amber's mother, Martha Andujar. Andujar then hugged each of the officers.

On the evening of Nov. 19, Amber's father, James Andujar, frantically tried to treat his daughter while Martha Andujar called 911. The police officers, who were just a few blocks away, rushed to the Andujars' apartment. By talking to the baby's siblings, Espinosa determined that Amber was choking on a marble and Dickerson administered about a dozen pats on the back, which eventually dislodged the marble.

The two dazed heroes said they appreciated the recognition."I'm just overwhelmed to be here," Dickerson said.

Espinosa said, "It's wonderful to be honored by the City Council, but the most precious award was from the family," who gave the officers Christmas tree ornaments in the shape of angels, labeled with the officers' names. "They said they pictured us as angels."

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