Barrington first responders honored for saving infant's life

She's only 4 months old, but Scarlett Soeder was the star of the show at Monday night's Barrington village board meeting.

It was just two months ago that Barrington firefighters and police rushed to Scarlett's home when her mother, Claudia Del Fiacco, called 911 to report Scarlett didn't have a pulse and was not breathing. The first responders who saved Scarlett were honored at the village board session.

Scarlett's father, Jon Soeder, thanked everyone involved in saving Scarlett on behalf of his wife and two other children, 10-year-old Luca and Cristian, 6. He held Scarlett while he spoke in the packed board room.

"I get a call from my wife, she's not breathing," Soeder said. "And I don't even remember that morning. I just remember showing up to the hospital and seeing every one of you guys in there like it was your own baby. And I hear her crying. And I swear, I started dancing. I started high-fiving random people."

Reading from an account by the Northwest Community Emergency Medical Services System, Barrington Fire Chief Jim Arie said a police officer started CPR on Scarlett just before firefighters arrived Nov, 20. The officer, John McGowan, then handed Scarlett to Assistant Fire Chief Bruce Peterson, who continued chest compressions.

In the ambulance to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital near Lake Barrington, firefighters continued the chest compressions and performed other lifesaving measures, according to the emergency medical services system.

Once she arrived at the hospital, Scarlett, who didn't have any previous medical problems, was moving all her limbs and breathing without assistance.

Soeder said his daughter underwent emergency surgery for a heart defect and she's now healthy. He said told the three police officers, five firefighters and a regional dispatcher who handled the call that they didn't save only Scarlett.

"You saved my wife Claudia's life," he said. "You saved my two boys' lives, Cristian and Luca. And you saved my life."

Arie said the outcome was an example of how Barrington firefighters and police - both headquartered in a public safety building on Northwest Highway - work well together. He said the firefighters and police interact daily in the same complex, sometimes sharing meals or just chatting.

"When we go to a call as this, there's no ego, there's no rank, there's no titles attached to what we need to do and who needs to do what when," he said. "I'm here to tell you - and I hope the public appreciates this - the relationship that we have between fire and police is optimum. And it's not that way everywhere. It could not be better here."

  Five Barrington firefighters, three village police officers and a regional dispatcher were honored Monday night for their roles in saving the life of 4-month-old Scarlett Soeder after her mother called 911 to report her daughter didn't have a pulse and was not breathing in November. The celebration occurred at a Barrington village board meeting. Bob Susnjara/
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