Firefighter talks near drowning of 4-year-old boy

Posted at 3:49 PM, Sep 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-07 17:49:03-04

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    Phoenix, Arizona (KPHO) — A 4-year-old boy is lucky to be alive after being pulled from a pool at an apartment complex Monday evening, and a firefighter who helped save him is talking about it for the first time.

It happened off Greenway Parkway and Seventh Street.

“You can’t turn your head away from a child at a swimming pool at all, and it was a big party with multiple people, and so he kind of got lost,” said Phoenix Fire Capt. Ken Kohler.

When the 27-year veteran of the Phoenix Fire Department heard a drowning tone go off at station 35, he says his sense of urgency heightened.

“I worked in Maryvale a big part of my career and saw so many drownings as a paramedic and when my children were that same age, it really resonated with me how easily it could happen to my child,” said Kohler.

He and his crew arrived on scene near Seventh Street and Greenway Parkway within a minute and a half.

A family celebration turned into a terrible accident.

“We had a lot of people running towards (sic) the truck, and we had the mother running towards (sic) the truck with the child, and she handed the child off to me,” said Kohler.

Kohler, who’s also a medic, described the child as lethargic but alert and breathing.

“Both people that pulled him out were CPR certified and trained, and they did two minutes of CPR before we got there, and that’s what saved his life because he had already stopped breathing and was at the bottom of the swimming pool,” said Kohler.

Fire crews worked on the boy as they drove him to the hospital. By the time they arrived, he was fully awake and crying.

“I’m most happy that there were people there that could do CPR and pulled him out of the pool so that we could have this happy ending. That’s what I’m most thankful for,” said Kohler.

The little boy was evaluated at the hospital and is expected to be OK.

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