Last week, Orange County Fire Capt. Paul Holaday was vacationing in Palm Desert when a 3-year-old was found at the bottom of the pool at the Marriott Shadow Ridge Resort. Holaday works for the Orange County Fire Authority at Station 60, 121 Avenida Victoria in San Clemente.
Here’s what happened:
PATCH: What were you doing in Palm Desert? And at the time of the incident?
HOLADAY: I was in Palm Desert vacationing with my family. At the time of the incident I was just getting out of the pool to head back to my room.
PATCH: How did you first realize someone was in trouble?
HOLADAY: I was first alerted to the situation by my wife who saw commotion by the pool. I went over to see if I could help and found the baby lying lifeless on a lounge chair. Myself, another off-duty paramedic and an off-duty nurse immediately began CPR.
PATCH: Do you know how the boy ended up in the pool?
HOLADAY: I was told was that the boy was in the pool with his mom and two siblings.
PATCH: Were there others around?
HOLADAY: Yes, the pool was quite crowded.
PATCH: How long did it take for the boy to respond to your efforts?
HOLADAY: We performed CPR for about two minutes.
PATCH: Have you heard how he’s doing?
HOLADAY: The boy was immediately transported to a local hospital to be stabilized. He was then airlifted to Long Beach Memorial Hospital for observation. The child was discharged home the next day.
PATCH: Where was he from, do you know?
I believe the family lives in Torrance.
I hope this helps. The message I would like to come from this event is that early CPR saves lives and children drown without a sound. So everyone should learn CPR and always watch the water when children are nearby.
According to Capt. Steve Concialdi, in Orange County, since Jan. 1, “we have had 50 drowning calls, 18 have been fatal. Let’s remind parents with this hot weather to keep a close eye on their kids when they are in or around water. Children drown without a sound in seconds.”
PHOTO Fire Capt. Paul Holaday. Courtesy the Orange County Fire Authority.