Off-duty Calif. first responders rescue child at hotel pool

When responders heard the boy’s mom scream, they jumped to action, literally, hopping the fence because “We don’t have time to use key cards”

By Jessie Forand

REDDING, Calif. — First responders working the Dixie Fire were off duty at their hotel when a scream pulled them back into professional mode. 

A group of first responders reported hearing a woman scream after discovering her son, 10, was partially in the pool, unresponsive, CBS 13 reported.  

“We jumped the fence, we don’t have time to use key cards,” Oakland Fire Department’s Jarred Neal told the news station.


The child had water in his lungs and no pulse, a paramedic said. Responders performed CPR and the boy was transported to the hospital after resuming breathing.

When the child cried, Moraga-Orinda Fire Protection District Paramedic Tom Schwedhelm said the EMTs let out a sigh of relief.

“It’s funny, as paramedics you know when kids cry that’s good, it means they have an airway,” he said.

Neal, who said he has four children of his own, explained, “It’s hard not to look at a kid and go, ‘Hey, you know, it could be my kid.’”

The off-duty responders had been assigned to battle the Dixie Fire, which has consumed nearly 200,000 acres.

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