Lifeguard credited with saving child at Palatine pool

  • Authorities say a 16-year-old lifeguard rescued a child from drowning Tuesday at Birchwood Pool in Palatine.

    Authorities say a 16-year-old lifeguard rescued a child from drowning Tuesday at Birchwood Pool in Palatine. Courtesy of the Palatine Park District

 
 
Updated 6/24/2021 6:33 PM

A first-time lifeguard saved a child from drowning Tuesday afternoon in Palatine, officials say.

The rescue occurred about 1:15 p.m., when the 16-year-old lifeguard at Birchwood Pool noticed the young girl struggling in the water.

 

Mike Clark, executive director of the Palatine Park District, said it appears the child drifted into deeper water without realizing it.

The lifeguard entered the water and pulled the girl to the side of the pool, where the child went limp. The guard pulled her onto the deck and began administering CPR, officials said.

The Palatine Fire Department responded to the pool at 435 W. Illinois Ave. about 1:20 p.m., Deputy Fire Chief Scott Mackeben said.

Just as they arrived, the girl regurgitated water and regained consciousness, Clark said.

"The lifeguard did an awesome job," Mackeben said.

The child was taken Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge. Mackeben said she was alert and able to breathe on her own.

Clark said he followed up with the girl's family, who reported that she is doing fine.

"I think a lot of people take (lifeguarding) for granted until something happens," Clark said. "This could have gone a lot different."

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He emphasized the importance of trained and certified lifeguards.

"With any water, any pool, any lake, there's a risk," Clark said.

This year, the Palatine Park District paid for training and certification fees to attract and hire lifeguards.

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