Lifeguards go through a long training process during which they are equipped with skills that will enable them to think and act quickly during an emergency. You might think of a lifeguard as someone who sits in a tall chair and gets a nice tan, but the reality is that his or her gears are always turning.

While lifeguards are trained to be responsible in the case of an emergency, it’s not something that they would like to see happen, according to Brady Schmidt. Schmidt, Austin Ellis and Dacota Fox were on duty at the McLellan Place Community Center pool in Fort Riley, Kans., when they heard a woman screaming.

Ready at a second’s notice
A 17-month old boy, Carson Madigan, had fallen into the pool and hit his head, causing him to stop breathing. As the child lay unresponsive, his mother, Angelia, was screaming in panic.

Schmidt, Ellis and Fox jumped to the rescue and performed CPR on the child. They also contacted 911 and made it a point to make sure that the mother and the rest of the patrons remained calm. Fox told a news source that the rescue training just kicked in.

They performed CPR until the paramedics arrived. Carson and his mother were taken to the Irwin Army Community Hospital and soon were flown in to Topeka, Kans. for further treatment. According to the source, Carson was stabilized and came out just fine.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 people die each day from accidental drowning.

In retrospect
The lifeguards insist that they were just doing their job, but Angelia Madigan said she disagrees, though she admitted she has trouble recalling the events of the day.

“Carson wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the lifeguards,” she told the news source. She said that twenty minutes after the incident, when she saw Carson’s eyelashes flutter in the ambulance, she knew that he would be OK.

Schmidt said that he remembers the time stretching into hours as he and the others anxiously waited to hear about Carson’s condition. Carson turned out to be well, though he hasn’t been back to that particular pool due to the traumatic memories the place instilled in his parents.

Mary Beth Smith, the area supervisor from American Pool, said that the pool staff operates like both a team and a family. The way they handled the emergency displayed the organization and professionalism of a well-oiled ship. She also noted the way that they banded together in humility, by being humble about their actions and reassuring themselves and others that they were simply doing their jobs.