‘A forever bond’: Murfreesboro officer recounts saving baby’s life

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Murfreesboro police officer, who is being hailed a hero after using life-saving skills on a baby who had stopped breathing, said he just happened to be in the right place at the right time. 

One could call it chance, or perhaps it was fate that put baby Zaire Brown in the hands of Officer Robert Baer.

“I think I was there for that reason,” said Baer. 

Zaire’s mother, Marchelle Brown, had called 911 saying, “My son stopped breathing.”

The frantic parents started driving when they pulled over and flagged down Baer as Zaire wasn’t breathing. Without a second to spare, he quickly began performing two-finger chest compressions on the Zaire.

“Stay with me. Stay with me Zaire,” Baer said.

Baer is also the father of a toddler, and this was a fight he was determined to win.

“I’m thinking I have a 3-year-old at home; that’s what I’m thinking about as I’m doing it. Just don’t be the one to let this kid die. That’s what I’m thinking,” Baer said.

Fortunately, Zaire started breathing shortly after Baer began performing chest compressions.

“I’ll never forget the things that took place, the sound he made when he started breathing,” said Baer.  

It’s a sound that left the officer fighting tears of relief.

“I wanted to go home with my kid and you know, hold him, and I think that was going through my head. I put myself in dad’s shoes of what he was feeling, because dad was tore up. It’s just a mix of all the emotions coming together at once,” Baer said.

His actions were rewarded with a reunion with Zaire and his family.

“I’m glad you saved our child,” Marchelle told the officer, calling him an angel.

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The interaction created a bond that Baer hopes will be forever.

“I feel like I have a connection with him. You know, certain things stick with you; this will be one,” he said.

Baer said in his four years as a police officer, he has had only three infant calls, but never one like this. He later learned that Zaire’s parents had lost a baby in 2020, making it even more significant that he was able to help save him.