New Hope Lifeguards Honored After Saving Lives
Four New Hope Aquatic Park lifeguards were recognized by city officials for saving two children earlier this summer.
Amidst the noise of the New Hope Aquatic Park, lifeguards like Laura Wiseman and Cassie Baker find focus in the madness. Most of the time, Wiseman said, she is just asking kids to walk.
Lifeguards at the pool are trained to handle crisis situations. Wiseman said she had never had to use those skills at the pool until recently.
“We talk about those instances happening all the time, but you never think it is going to happen,” Baker said.
On June 28, Wiseman said she was watching over the pool when one kid caught her attention.
“He points at him and he is like ‘he can’t swim, he can’t swim!'” Wiseman said. “Kids just say that. You hear that how many times a day, because they are trying to get attention from the lifeguard.”
This time, it wasn’t for show. Wiseman said she watched the child do a flip off the diving board when he began to struggle.
“Then he jumps off, and he actually can’t swim,” Wiseman said. “I jumped in, go after him. He was struggling to swim a little bit. I got him to the side.”
After rescuing that kid, Wiseman realized he was not the only one who needed help. Another child was laying at the bottom of the pool.
“I get in, go down there and I pull him out,” Wiseman said. “There was a pulse, no breathing.”
Wiseman, with the help of fellow pool employees Jack Neff and Justin Rowles, administered emergency lifesaving measures on the second child.
At the same time, Baker helped calm the scene and called for first responders.
“It is such a time of uncertainty, so you do not really know what is going to happen, or how it is going to turn out in the end,” Baker said.
The four cut through the chaos and, with the help of EMTs, saved their lives. Wiseman said that teamwork made a difference.
“All of our guards, we know what we are doing. So in that sense it’s not scary, because you know that you know,” Wiseman said.
A Grateful Community
The girls will not admit they are heroes.
“There are so many people that are like oh my gosh, how could you do that?'” Wiseman said. “It’s like — that’s what I’m here for!”
City leaders recognized the humble four who made a difference at City Hall on Monday, Aug. 14.
New Hope Chief of Police Tim Hoyt commended each of them in the New Hope City Council meeting this week.
City Council Member John Elder thanked them for their bravery.
“Everybody wants to think they would react the way that you four did — but the fact of the matter is, you did,” Elder said. “You made a gigantic difference in two children and two families’ lives.”
The quartet said it was exactly what they trained for.
“We are just doing our job, and keeping people safe is exactly what we want to do — making sure everyone comes out of here alive, and comes out of the pool alive,” Baker said.