Off-duty firefighter saves drowning child

While on vacation in Orlando, he found a 4-year-old at the bottom of a swimming pool and resuscitated her with CPR


The Orlando Sentinel

ORLANDO, Fla. — A vacationing Lake County EMT/firefighter is being called a hero after saving the life of a young girl who was drowning in an Orlando-area resort pool.

Lake County Fire Rescue Lt. Shannon Bush was playing with his toddler by the pool at the Bluegreen Vacations Fountains Resort on International Drive when he heard people screaming "Call 911!"

He ran over and saw what he described as the lifeless body of a 4-year-old girl who was found at the bottom of the 6,000-square-foot pool by family members. He immediately tried to resuscitate the child and started cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

'Unresponsive'
"She was lifeless and unresponsive, so I started doing the things I was trained to do," Bush said. "I started doing CPR. I gave a couple of breaths, then continued doing compressions while others took over giving breaths. After about two minutes, I checked for a pulse and she had a strong pulse and started moving."

An emergency crew arrived within minutes of the May 11 emergency and was able to resuscitate the child with the help of Bush, a 14-year Lake-department veteran. She was taken to the hospital and released the next day.

"I was thankful that I was there, and for the quick response from everybody that helped out," Bush said.

Florida is ranked the highest in the U.S. for children under 14 drowning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

'Swift actions'
Lake County Fire Chief John Jolliff lauded how the veteran firefighter reacted.

"Lt. Shannon Bush is a prime example of the caliber of firefighters that make up Lake County Fire Rescue," Jolliff said. "Our firefighters are highly-trained, and never off duty when it comes to stepping in to save a life. Lt. Bush deserves to be hailed a hero for his swift actions in rescuing this young child."

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