A toddler was rescued and revived Tuesday afternoon by a lifeguard at Wilson Park pool in Granite City.
Facilities manager Justin Brinkmeyer said the 3-year-old boy had wandered into water over his head and was in distress. Noticing the child’s behavior, an 18-year-old lifeguard jumped in and pulled him out.
The boy was not breathing, Brinkmeyer said, and so the lifeguard gave him about 20 chest compressions. At that time, the child began coughing up water. The child, who was not identified, was taken to a local hospital for observation.
Brinkmeyer said the child was in the pool’s 3- to 4-foot section, and had been told to go no deeper by his guardian. “Being a child, he tested the water,” Brinkmeyer said.
The lifeguard’s name was not released, and Brinkmeyer said he had gone home for the day. He said the pool’s lifeguards are all certified by the American Red Cross. “They go through extensive training and we have an instructor on staff who does our training in-house,” he said. “We also do in-service trainings every few weeks to prepare for instances like this.”
Lifeguards are not only trained to conduct first aid, Brinkmeyer said, but to watch for the signals that a swimmer is in distress, including body language and hand motions that indicate a struggle. “All of the staff that was here responded to this emergency in the manner that they were trained,” Brinkmeyer said. “They did a stellar job. The lifeguard who performed this rescue should be commended for his efforts.”
They did a stellar job. The lifeguard who performed this rescue should be commended for his efforts.
Justin Brinkmeyer, pool facilities manager
Brinkmeyer said it is important for parents and caregivers to know that when a child is in the pool, they must keep an eye on them and know where they can and can’t touch the bottom of the pool — and make sure the child understands that.
“You hope it never happens,” Brinkmeyer said. “But fortunately, it played out well, and a young child will live because of a lifeguard’s quick action.”
Brinkmeyer said the child was alert when he was taken to the hospital for evaluation. Granite City police officers said he is “going to be just fine.”
The Wilson Park Pool is managed by the Granite City Park District, and features a wading pool and water slide as well as the main pool.