Airman steps up in child’s rescue

Cannon Connections: Liliana Castillo Cannon Air Force Base’s Technical Sergeant Charles Derflinger, left, and Clovis police officer Mike Reeves vie for 10-month-old Eva Saiz’s attention. Derflinger and Reeves helped saved the toddler when she started choking on a hair clip.

By Sharna Johnson: Cannon Connections

As Tech. Sgt. Charles Derflinger walked through the door, little Eva Saiz reached her arms out to him and smiled.

It was a warm welcome considering they had never officially met before Tuesday.

Derflinger has been credited with playing an integral part in getting the 10-month-old medical assistance as she choked on a hair clip in the parking lot of a Clovis convenience store.

On his way to dinner with his wife Monday afternoon, the off-duty Cannon firefighter said he heard yelling as he pulled up to a traffic light at the intersection of 14th and Prince streets.

Derflinger said he looked over and saw off-duty Clovis police officer Mike Reeves working on a small child while panicked family members looked on.

He pulled in to see what he could do to help.

Reeves asked him to get on the radio in his patrol unit and tell dispatch where they were.

“I asked him his unit number and started talking to the dispatcher,” he said. “It pretty much flowed, I didn’t think I did anything.”

But Reeves said Derflinger relayed critical information that expedited transport.

“Had it not been for him, it would have taken more time to get her transported. He was able to relay some detailed medical information that allowed the paramedics to be prepared for immediate transport as soon as they got there,” Reeves said.

While Derflinger communicated with dispatch, his wife Jenni