Portland lifeguard honored for bravery www.privateofficer.com
PORTLAND, Ore. Aug 30 2012– Local lifeguards are being honored for their bravery, after their heroic efforts saved a 13-year-old girl who drowned in a Portland city swimming pool.
It was back in July when they pulled the girl from the bottom of the pool — and saved her life on the spot.
This group of 17- and 18-year-olds became life savers that day. And for that they received a well-deserved standing ovation Tuesday morning, at Wilson Pool in southeast Portland.
Portland’s Aquatics Director Nancy Roth calls the staff at Portland’s Wilson Pool “heroic” — acting “above and beyond.”
That heroic act happened on a picture-perfect Portland day: 80 degrees Fahrenheit, blue skies. The Wilson Pool was crowded on July 19th, when lifeguard William Meier spotted something 12 feet under.
“I kinda saw something by the bottom by the diving board,” said lifeguard Garrett Wyman. “And then I heard a little girl say, ‘My sister’s at the bottom of the pool!’”
The 13-year-old girl at the bottom of the pool had been adopted from China just weeks before.
Immediately the 17-year-old says he blew his whistle and jumped in.
“I had a little trouble getting to her,” Wyman told KOIN, “because she was literally laying on the bottom of the pool so its like 12 feet.”
He pulled her to the top, laid her on his float and tilted her head back to open her airway.
“The second I hit the water, adrenaline pumping,” he said, “I just kind of went through the steps and I knew what to do.”
Wyman was doing rescue breaths in the water. He put the backboard in and pulled her up, basically extricating her in the pool. That’s when four other lifeguards jumped in to get the girl onto the pool deck.
“As soon as she started breathing,” said one of the lifeguards, William Meier, “it was relieving to know she was conscious again.”
EMTs say the lifeguards’ speed played a role in her survival: “They said the oxygen levels in her blood were pretty high,” Meier said.
As for Wyman, who blew that first whistle, “I’m glad she’s alive. I’m really glad I knew what to do.”
“I’m glad I can rely on everyone that I work with,” he told KOIN. “It’s nice to call for help, and turn around, and help’s already there.”