According to Anne Arundel County authorities, a 2-year-old male nearly drowned at the North Arundel Aquatic Center, however, was rescued by lifeguards and a retired Prince George’s County Firefighter. On Sunday afternoon, July 18, 2010, the Aquatic Center on Crain Highway in Glen Burnie was crowded and fortunately, Lashawn Jackson, a retired Prince George’s County Fire Fighter, was there with her family.
Her attention was drawn to a far area of the swimming area by the sharp whistle from a lifeguard. She watched as the young lifeguards pull a lifeless child from the pool. Trying to resist interfering with the lifeguards efforts, Lashawn hesitated jumping into action, allowing the lifeguards the opportunity to do their jobs. Instinctively, she knew that quick and effective resuscitation efforts were needed to save the young child’s life. She joined the lifeguards and identified herself as knowing CPR. She described the child as not breathing, no pulse and being blue in his face and extremities. After a rapid assessment she assisted with resuscitation efforts and ensured that 911 was notified. After four minutes of CPR the child aspirated and displayed some efforts at breathing. Anne Arundel County Paramedics arrived quickly and found the child to be unresponsive and was making attempts at breathing. A Maryland State Police Helicopter flew the child to Johns Hopkins Pediatric Center where he is listed in “critical” but stable condition.
Lashawn stated she had to help and despite being retired from the Fire/EMS Department since December 2008, her former training as a firefighter and EMT just kicked in and was as fresh as the day she learned it. Lashawn stated, “I’m glad I was there to help, it may have been the first rescue with CPR for the lifeguards. They did a fantastic job in the rescue and I think they were glad someone with experience was there to assist with CPR.”
This is the second time in two weeks that a retired Prince George’s County Firefighter assisted in CPR and resuscitation of a near drowning victim. On July 4, 2010, Retired Fire Fighter/Medic Melvin Batts assisted in the resuscitation of a young man at a backyard swimming pool.
Prince George’s County Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones stated, “I am so proud of our men and women of the Fire/EMS service for quickly jumping into action when action is needed quickly and for keeping up with their skills despite being retired. Retired Fire Fighter Jacksons actions are commendable and I offer her congratulations on a job well done!!!”