BRIDGEWATER —It was a scene the young woman will long remember. “The baby was blue and non-responsive. His mother was patting the baby on his back,” Kathleen Greene, 24, said Wednesday, a day after she rushed next door to find a lifeless, breathless 2-year-old who had just been pulled from the family’s backyard in-ground pool.
It was a scene the young woman will long remember.
“The baby was blue and non-responsive. His mother was patting the baby on his back,” Kathleen Greene, 24, said Wednesday, a day after she rushed next door to find a limp, breathless 2-year-old who had just been pulled from the family’s backyard in-ground pool.
“They were frantic,” Greene said. “They were very panic stricken.”
On Wednesday, the home at 20 Stephanie Lane was quiet, the couple, whose names were not released, were at Children’s Hospital where the little boy was improving, but not yet out of the woods, according to fire officials.
Greene, meanwhile, said she was “overwhelmed” by the experience that began about 6:45 p.m. Tuesday when her father called out to her, saying a baby had fallen in the pool.
A medical assistant at a Hanover physician’s office, Greene said she had CPR training in high school, but had never before found herself in a life-or-death situation.
When the time came, she did not hesitate to help her new neighbors, people she had never met. On Wednesday, she still did not know the names of the parents or the children, including a 4-year-old boy she comforted after paramedics arrived.
“He had no pulse, he was not breathing,” firefighter/paramedic Carol Berghaus said.
She was among the first of five paramedics who responded to a series of 911 calls from Stephanie Lane.
“When you have a call that it’s a kid, you can’t get there fast enough,” said Berghaus, who has been on the job for 12 years and was assigned to the ambulance on Tuesday.
She held the ambulance door as police Officer Robert Rae rushed the child from the backyard, then she joined a team of medically certified firefighters in reviving the tot.
The child was blue, he had no pulse, was not breathing, she said.
Chief George Rogers Jr. said the boy had been in the pool about five minutes.
The toddler and a 4-year-old brother were in the sunroom behind the raised ranch house, the parents inside preparing dinner, according to the chief. When the father returned to the sunroom, the younger boy was missing, Rogers said.
That’s when the father found the child in the pool and neighbors heard the confusion and called 911.
Greene estimates paramedics arrived within five minutes, reviving the young victim with the help of a IO drill, a device designed to deliver intravenous drugs through the tibia (bone) in the lower leg in critical situations and one of two donated by the Jay McGillis Foundation, a memorial to the late BC football player and brother of firefighter/paramedic David McGillis. Former Brockton High football player Jay McGillis died of leukemia in 1992 while a student at Boston College.
Meanwhile, the Fire Department’s call to MedFlight brought an immediate response — the emergency medical helicopter was in the sky over Bridgewater on the way back to Plymouth Airport after a run to Boston.
“The stars were aligned,” Chief Rogers said.
“Everybody had a hand in this, even God,” added Deputy Chief Thomas Levy.
“I’ve never been so proud of the way the guys operated under those conditions,” the deputy said.
“The guys” said they were doing their job.
Capt. Ray Wilcox was the incident commander. Firefighters James Wood, Matthew Lake, Berghaus, David McGillis and Jeffrey Germaine were at the scene, arriving in two ambulances and a fire truck. Deputy Levy left the scene to respond to a second medical call with a mutual aid ambulance from Raynham.
MedFlight was on the ground before the ambulance arrived at the landing site. The child was delivered to Children’s Hospital in less than hour after the first 911 call, Chief Rogers said.
“Everybody worked together,” he said Wednesday, pausing in his office after spending time at the tot’s hospital bedside where his family maintained a vigil.
Outside the chief’s office, the firefighters gathered, shaken by the vision of the lifeless child, buoyed by news that he was showing signs of improvement.
“My reward will be when I see that child walk through the door,” Berghaus said.
Elaine Allegrini of The Enterprise (Brockton, Mass.) can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.