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Arkansas officer rewarded for saving life of 3-week-old baby

Officer Cody Hubbard is one of only 18 officers in the country to receive the award celebrating distinguished service and community policing.

POTTSVILLE, Ark. — Pottsville, Arkansas is a city that's home to just over 3,000 people and now, it's also a place where a nationally recognized hero resides.

"It's Pottsville, you blink and you miss it on the interstate when you're passing through. Everyone treated it as a regular call, but once I saw what it was, I knew it deserved some merit," Pottsville Police Chief Joseph Paterak said.

Roughly a year ago, one of Paterak's officers, Cody Hubbard responded to a call for cardiac arrest in regards to then 3-week-old Grady Chronister.

Bodycam footage from that day captured Officer Hubbard's heroics as it showed him performing the life-saving treatment called back blows on Grady.

"You didn't present as stressed or stressed out. You presented as the calm among the storm." U.S. Attorney Jonathan Ross said during an event in Officer Hubbard's honor.

At the time of the call, Officer Hubbard was barely a month out of the academy.

Fast forward to the present and Hubbard now has experience, and Grady is a full year older, all thanks his efforts. Those actions have caught the attention of those outside of the state too.

Officer Hubbard received national recognition from the U.S. Attorney General's office for distinguished service and community policing. 

He's one of just 18 officers in the entire country to receive the recognition.

"I was just praying that this didn't turn out the way that I was expecting it to turn out, I was wanting it to actually go in my favor as it did," Officer Hubbard said. "The lord was on my side that day, and it ended up being life changing for me."

It was life-changing for Grady and his family too. The child is still alive thanks to Officer Hubbard's actions.

They were at Thursday's ceremony where they supported not only an officer in town, but someone that they now consider to be a family friend.

"As far as I'm concerned, he's a family friend. Grady can call him Uncle Cody, he's part of the family now," Joe Chronister, Grady's father said.

In the moment, Officer Hubbard said he barely remembers what happened – but he'd do it all over again if he had to.

"You know, a life is something that you can't bring back or you can't change," Officer Hubbard said.

(Note: A previous version of this article stated that Officer Hubbard performed a "Heimlich Maneuver" on Grady, when in fact it was a technique that is approved for infants called "back blows", whereas the Heimlich is not recommended for children under age one because it can cause injuries.)

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