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Friday, July 1, 2011

When this sort of thing stops being NEWS, we will be where we need to be!

Lifeguards save boy in Quincy pool
E-mail| Print | Comments (0) July 1, 2011 8:38 PM
By Neal J. Riley, Globe Correspondent

A Quincy boy who stopped breathing while at his swim class today was revived by lifeguards who pulled him from the water and performed CPR, town officials said.

The boy, who police said was 13, was in the highest-level swim class at the Lincoln-Hancock Community School in Quincy when he lost consciousness in the water at about 1 p.m., according to Christopher Walker, spokesman for Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch.

About 45-50 youths were in the pool at the time, watched by 14 lifeguards, Walker said.

It appears that the near-drowning of the boy, who was taken to Children’s Hospital Boston, was the result of a medical condition, Quincy Recreation Director Barry Welch said. The unidentified boy apparently tried to stand up in the shallow end and fell backward onto another swimmer, Welch said.

Lifeguard Joseph Benoit, 20, said in a telephone interview that the class was wrapping up when some of the students, who range from 10 to 15 years old, alerted him that the boy was bleeding from the mouth and sinking under the water near the side of the pool. He and another lifeguard pulled the boy out and immediately began CPR with lifeguard Julie Kisielius, 21.

“I’ve done it hundreds and hundreds of times on the dummies but this is the first time I’ve done it on a human,” said Benoit, a junior studying civil engineering at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Benoit said he did not initially detect a pulse from the boy and estimated that two minutes went by before he was revived, a situation that had everyone “a little scared.”

“As far as the nerves, the nerves are still real,” Benoit said tonight.

The pool’s on-site supervisor, Benoit said he had just been recertified in CPR two weeks ago. He has been a lifeguard at the pool for five summers.

“The proper training helped out with everything and made it go smoothly,” he said.

About 750 children take lessons at the pool during the summer, Welch said.

“They were as cool as can be, it was textbook,” Welch said of the lifeguards, who are all trained by the American Red Cross. “All the training that you put into these situations, it’s nice to see that the young people respond as they’re trained to do.”

“I think it’s fair to say that they saved this kid’s life,” Walker said. “At the very least they prevented a tragedy.”

Benoit said he was just happy that the boy was OK.

“Hopefully we’ll see him again for future lessons,” he said.

Warrington man thanks police, firemen for saving his life

Posted: Friday, July 1, 2011 2:27 pm | Updated: 3:20 pm, Fri Jul 1, 2011.
By Rich Pietras Staff Writer | 0 comments

Warrington police and fire personnel were recognized this week at the board of supervisors meeting - and by the man they helped saved - after responding to a call on the evening of April 29.

After 59-year-old Pine Code Road resident Chris Opdyke went into cardiac arrest, his wife Pat called 911. After Pat started CPR, police and firemen arrived and used an automated external defibrillators (AED) machine before Medics from Central Bucks Ambulance arrived.

Good Guys 1, Commotio Cordis 0

Two honored as destiny leads to a life saved

HEROES — Rome Free Academy lacrosse coaches Guy Calandra, left, and Jeremy Roberts, were honored by the Board of Education Wednesday night for helping save the life of a lacrosse player in Onondaga County on June 15. (Sentinel photo by Lindsay A. Mogle)

Rome Free Academy varsity lacrosse coach Jeremy Roberts believes his entire life may have been leading to the day he was able to use all of his training and skills to help save the life of one of his players.

"As I look back at it, God has a plan and he puts people in places for certain reasons," said Roberts, age 36. "He took 20 years to get me ready for that one day, in my opinion."

Roberts and fellow RFA coach Guy Calandra used their CPR training to help keep Jamesville-DeWitt sophomore Daniel Cochran alive after he took a hard ball to the chest on June 15 in Onondaga County. The two coaches kept pumping and breathing until a defibrillator was carried out onto the field and shocked the teen back to life.

Roberts said he first learned CPR as a life guard at age 16, and then leaned how to deal with crisis situations when he served in the Marines. He also became a certified CPR trainer with the Red Cross a few years ago, and has to know first aid as a coach.

"I was put on that field on that day," Roberts said. God "put me there to save Danny’s life."

Roberts and Calandra were honored for their life-saving efforts by the Rome Board of Education Wednesday night. But both men said they don’t deserve all the credit.

"Everybody did things right on cue, nobody panicked. A lot of people did everything right," said Calandra. "It’s pretty traumatic, thinking back; what he looked like, what could have happened."

Cochran was one of 55 players trying out for the Nike Upstate Rising lacrosse competition on June 15 at the Fayetteville-Manlius High School in Onondaga County. Roberts and Calandra had been chosen in October to coach the sophomore Upstate Rising team. Calandra said he was about five feet away when Cochran, playing defense, turned into a shot from one of the offensive players. The ball hit Cochran in the left side of his chest, just below his padding.

"He yelled and he took a few steps and he fell face first," Calandra said. He knelt down to check on Cochran, but was getting no response. So he yelled across the field for Roberts.

"The first time he yelled to me, I thought he was just trying to get my attention," Roberts stated. "He yelled again and I could tell from the pitch of his voice...that something was seriously wrong."

Roberts joined Calandra at Cochran’s side, and as they checked the boy they determined he wasn’t breathing and didn’t have a pulse.

"We just looked at each other and we knew within seconds that he didn’t have a pulse, so we started CPR," Calandra said. He started chest compressions and Roberts started breathing. Calandra said they went through two cycles of CPR before a registered nurse came to the field and took over.

Calandra said he called Cochran’s parents and called 9-1-1 as athletic director Cyndi Kelder came to the field with the defibrillator and shock paddles. One use of the defibrillator put Cochran’s heart back into rhythm and started him breathing again.

"Within 15 seconds, I had everything again. It was phenomenal what happened in that minute after the shock," Roberts said. "I kept encouraging him, telling him to hang in there."

Cochran was rushed to University Hospital in Syracuse and eventually made a full recovery. He returned to school before the end of the year and is expected to return for the next round of lacrosse try-outs on July 13. Both coaches said they look forward to seeing Cochran again.

Calandra and Roberts were saluted at the Board of Education meeting Wednesday night with formal commendations plus separate praise from Rome school district representatives.

The efforts by Calandra and Roberts on June 15 "reflected the best" in the district’s coaches and teams, said district Superintendent Jeffrey P. Simons. Their "quick actions" in responding to Cochran’s emergency needs "reflected very well on our entire community" in what he described as "what a remarkable event."

Athletic Director Michael Stamboly said Calandra and Roberts "absolutely rose to the occasion." He added, "to save somebody’s life" has to be "the highest honor anybody can achieve." They have "two different approaches...two different styles," he observed, but "they work as a team" which was evident in what they did for Cochran. He remarked, "God knows what would have happened" if not for them, commenting "you guys did a great job."

Athletic Trainer Kelly Hoke said "our athletic department is a family," and Calandra and Roberts are "so representative of what we try to do....How we care about the kids...." She noted how proud their own families were, and added, "we’re so proud of them" as well.

Simons concluded the remarks by telling Calandra and Roberts, "thank you for your actions" and "the high quality with which you represented the district."

The two coaches received plaques with the framed text of their commendations from the board, said Simons, along with commemorative desk clocks that include a facing inscription recognizing their accomplishments on June 15.