Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: BM2 Christopher Hudgins

Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Hudgins stands with his wife and two sons following an award ceremony at Maritime Safety and Security Team Miami. Hudgins was awarded the Coast Guard Commendation Medal for saving the life of an 18-month old child while off duty. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Hudgins stands with his wife and two sons following an award ceremony at Maritime Safety and Security Team Miami. Hudgins was awarded the Coast Guard Commendation Medal for saving the life of an 18-month old child while off duty. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

 

From the time we enter the service, Coast Guard men and women are trained to save lives. And whether on duty or off, that’s what they do.

While spending his first day at home following a month-long deployment, Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Hudgins was expecting to spend a night relaxing with his family. But what happened next changed him forever.

Hudgins, who is assigned to Maritime Safety and Security Team Miami, was watching television when his 7-year old son noticed neighborhood kids playing and swimming in the pond behind their house.

“After two or three minutes went by, my son just looked at me and said ‘Daddy, he’s dead’,” remembers Hudgins. “My heart dropped.”

Hudgins immediately got up and looked out into the backyard and saw something he would never forget: a mom and dad leaning over a small child, attempting to perform CPR.

Hudgins, who has been trained in CPR, immediately ran outside and around the pond to the aide of the distraught parents.

“I told them I knew CPR and I started compressions and doing breaths for a little while, maybe 3 or 4 minutes went by and he was spitting up water here and there,” Hudgins said.

A few minutes later, emergency medical personnel arrived on scene, relieving Hudgins as the person performing CPR. Following that, Hudgins stayed around and gave a statement to the police that had also arrived on scene. Later, Hudgins learned that the young boy had been revived in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

“It was pretty surreal,” said Hudgins. “I thanked my son a lot for noticing and saying what he did. It was pretty remarkable that he knew something was going on that wasn’t right and was able to tell me about it.”

While it’s unknown what the outcome would have been had Hudgins not been there that night, one thing is certain: Hudgins’ initial actions that evening contributed greatly to the child’s life being saved. It was later learned that the child had been found unresponsive in the water by his parents after he had been missing for several minutes.

For his heroic actions that day, Hudgins was recently awarded the Coast Guard Commendation Medal by his unit.

But for Hudgins, the event was simply using the training the Coast Guard gave him.

“It’s what I was trained to do, and I did it,” he said.

Do you know someone who embodies the Coast Guard Core Values of Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty? Please submit your nominations using the “Submit Ideas” link on the right.

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