Tod­dler saved from drown­ing

AZDOC of­fi­cer per­forms CPR on child af­ter hear­ing call for help

Yuma Sun - - NEWS - BY JAMES GILBERT James Gilbert can be reached at jgilbert@yu­masun.com or 539-6854. Find him on Twit­ter @YSJamesGilbert.

An Ari­zona De­part­ment of Cor­rec­tions of­fi­cer per­formed CPR on an un­re­spon­sive child who al­most drowned in a park pond, sav­ing his life, the Somer­ton Po­lice De­part­ment re­ported on Tues­day.

Ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by Chief of Po­lice Joseph A. Tu­ritto Jr., at ap­prox­i­mately 11:40 a.m., the Somer­ton Po­lice De­part­ment re­ceived a 911 call re­port­ing a child drown­ing in a pond lo­cated at Coun­cil Park and that first re­spon­ders were on the scene within min­utes.

How­ever, be­fore their ar­rival, a cor­rec­tions of­fi­cer, who hap­pened to be in the park at the time su­per­vis­ing an AZDOC in­mate work crew, saw a woman fran­ti­cally yelling for help near the water’s edge.

The cor­rec­tions of­fi­cer, who was only iden­ti­fied as J. Al­varez, ran over to the woman and be­gan per­form­ing CPR on the 1-year-old child, who was un­re­spon­sive and not breath­ing. Af­ter sev­eral mo­ments, the child re­gained con­scious­ness and be­gan breath­ing on his own.

A pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the in­ci­dent re­vealed the child’s mother was in the Somer­ton li­brary, and had left the child in the care of a 45-year-old, who was also a res­i­dent of Somer­ton.

The aunt had taken the child, who was in a stroller, into the park’s re­stroom, leav­ing the child in the un­se­cured stroller out­side the bath­room stall door. The child, how­ever, man­aged to get out of the stroller and make his way to the water’s edge where he fell into the water.

When the aunt came out of the re­stroom to look for the child, she saw him float­ing in the pond and pulled him from the water.

The child was trans­ported to Yuma Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter and is in sta­ble con­di­tion. He will re­main in the hos­pi­tal overnight for ob­ser­va­tion.

Somer­ton Po­lice de­tec­tives are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the in­ci­dent.

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