Young lifeguard saves three lives

By Ben Basch October 10, 2013


Max Sheintoch is one of many young people who opted to be a lifeguard for the summer. The 19 year old from Dresher, Penn., landed a job in the Eastern Pennsylvania branch of American Pool, a company that specializes in commercial swimming pool management, maintenance and construction.

Many people Max’s age take jobs like this in spots all over the country. It’s a great job for a person who wants to be outside, and though it requires vigilance, the common image of a lifeguard is a guy or girl sitting in a chair soaking in the rays. In fact, Max told Glenside News that he was hoping to work on his tan.

Max became a certified Red Cross lifeguard through American Pool’s Guard for Life training program, and worked at a number of locations. When he was stationed at the outdoor pool of the Colonade apartments in Jenkintown, Penn., he had no idea that he would soon be responsible for saving multiple lives.

To the rescue
On July 10, Max was standing guard while two young men were horsing around in the pool. He told the news source that, before long, one of them “who looked around 16 or 17 years old, started bobbing in the deep water and couldn’t touch the bottom.”

Max dove into the 12-foot pool with his safety tube and saved the boy, who was coughing up water but was otherwise okay.

The following day, another teenage boy jumped into the pool and swam a few feet before stopping abruptly. When Max noticed that he was waving his arms in the air, he instantly dove into the pool and carefully helped the boy out.

“Max reacted instantly and brought the kid to the side of the pool,” Elizabeth Weiland Abrams, a resident of the Colonade apartments who witnessed the rescue, told the source. “He followed procedure and notified all the right people.”

It wasn’t over yet
Having two rescues under his belt in two days, Max Sheintoch was now ready for anything. He was on alert throughout the following week, when the third incident occurred.

Max told the news source that he heard a boy continually address his mom without getting a response. He saw that the mother had glazed eyes and was wandering in the 8-foot section of the pool, with her head bobbing in and out of the water. He dove in and asked her if she needed help, but she was unresponsive. He towed her to the nearest ladder with his safety tube, and he and a bystander helped the woman out of the pool. The paramedics confirmed that she experienced heat stroke.

“I used to think everyone in a pool could swim,” Sheintoch told the source.  “I now know that’s not the case.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that about 10 people die from unintentional drowning each day. Nearly 80 percent of those who drown are male.

Sheintoch headed back to his university at the end of the summer to begin his sophomore year as a psychology major. He told the news source that he now realizes how important lifeguards are, and is happy that he was able to help people at his job.