Reporting Denise Koch
LAUREL, Md. (WJZ)– A Maryland toddler nearly drowns in the family bathtub. She might have died if not for a calm 911 operator who talked the child’s grandmother through CPR.
And now, WJZ learns the life-saving voice on the other end of the line was none other than “The Voice of the Baltimore Orioles.”
Denise Koch has more.
911 call: “My granddaughter drowned. She’s not responding. Please help me!”
When the frantic call came into the Prince George’s County 911 call center late last week, it was David McGowan who picked up the line.
McGowan: “Give her two breaths, then 30 more pumps– one and a half inches. Keep going, ma’am. This is very important. Don’t stop.”
McGowan– only on the job for five months and still technically a trainee– was suddenly thrust into the middle of a life and death battle.
His biggest and perhaps only weapon was his steady baritone voice, and he used it to try to calm the desperate grandmother as together they walked through the paces of performing CPR on the 2-year-old girl.
“David has a great voice. He has a great calming technique,” Ray Delano, who trains 911 operators, said.
It’s a strong voice that many baseball fans know well.
“Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls! Welcome to Oriole Park at Camden Yards.”
“I was also the stadium announcer for the Baltimore Orioles up until I started here,” McGowan said.
For 14 seasons, McGowan was the voice of Camden Yards and the Baltimore Orioles. He retired from baseball in January and says he looked for a job where he could help people. But he probably never thought he would actually save a life.
911 call: “She’s breathing! She’s breathing!”
“She said, ‘The baby is breathing’ and I felt great and I said, ‘You know what? I made the right job choice,’” McGowan said.
The Laurel police department is investigating the accident. They tell WJZ the child’s grandmother was distracted and left her alone for 10 minutes before she was found underwater.