Source: Sherman Publications

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Two BHS youth credited for saving swimmer from pool

by Susan Bromley

June 22, 2011

Front row from left: Lorrie McMahon, Tony Miettinen, Allen Goeb, Pam Schoemer, Jodi Foyteck, and Hillary Nusbaum. Back row: Judy McCall and Celeste Nowacki. Photo provided.
Brandon Twp.- A fun school day at the pool nearly turned tragic, but two Brandon High School students became heroes when they rescued a classmate.

Allen Goeb and Tony Miettinen were honored June 9 for their actions in saving a female classmate from drowning. During a surprise presentation at the Brandon High School cafeteria, the sophomores were given certificates of recognition as their families, teachers, school officials, and classmates applauded.

"They walked into the cafeteria, and had no clue what was going on," recalled BHS teacher Judy McCall. "They were surprised their families were there. We ordered cookies for a reception and they were proud and smiling. They were just beaming. All the kids in our class wanted their pictures with them. They were just busting at the seams."

McCall and Jodi Foyteck, who teach a class of about 20 students that includes the boys, had reserved the BHS Aquatics Center the morning of May 20. When they arrived that day, another group of younger children was there. Everything was going well as the groups shared the pool, until the last 10 minutes of class.

The older students were permitted to be in the deep end of the pool, supervised by the hired lifeguard. Suddenly, a girl who was on the end of the springboard diving platform suffered a seizure and fell into the pool face first.

The lifeguard jumped in, but struggled to turn the girl over. The mother of another student at the pool, who was also a certified lifeguard, came running.

"The hired female lifeguard could not turn her over to get her face out of the water because she was rigid," said McCall. "Allen and Tony jumped in to assist the hired lifeguard retrieve our student who was seizing. The boys got her to the edge of the pool with the lifeguard and the mother and I were able to get her out while they were pushing her up."

The girl was not breathing. She was turned on to her side and the two lifeguards began cardiopulmonary resuscitation and were able to get her breathing again. Faust and Firefighter/Medic David Castle responded to the scene and transported the girl to the hospital. She regained consciousness and was on her way home before school was over and was back in school thanking the boys the following Monday.

"She didn't remember being on the springboard, but remembered hitting the water," said McCall. "She asked, 'Who saved me?' And then went right to Tony and Allen and said, 'Thank you for saving me.' Their quick response time, and alertness and help, helped recovery time to be successful and it turned out to be a much better result because of their heroic actions. If it had been just our class, we wouldn't have had the manpower to help her. It was ordained. Thought we would be alone in the pool, but it was a good thing we were not. It was a miracle."

Flood said every minute counts in such a crisis.

"Citizen involvement makes a difference in the outcome since we aren't there when it happens," he said. "It saves time and time is of the essence, especially when it involves someone who has stopped breathing or whose heart has stopped beating. You need to start assistance within four minutes for the best outcome."