The Poudre Fire Authority Recognition Ceremony on Feb. 13 presented awards to three Timnath Ranch residents for their teamwork in saving the life of a 6-year-old drowning victim. Along with some PFA personnel and other civilians, Dave Montgomery, Erin Nook, who is a nurse, and Dr. Alex Myers were honored at the event.
Each of those three was spending a quiet day with their own young children at the Timnath Ranch community pool on Aug. 1. Although they were at the facility separately, Nook and Myers knew one another from the neighborhood and through their medical professions. Nook works at Heart Center of the Rockies, Myers at University of Colorado Health facilities in Fort Collins and Loveland.
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Montgomery said he and his son and daughter were playing in the pool when, at around 2 p.m., a teenage girl tripped on something in the water, dove under and realized it was a small child. She quickly surfaced with the girl in tow and got her to the side of the pool, where Montgomery and another man pulled the child out. The youngster was unresponsive with no respiration or other signs of life.
By the time Montgomery had cleared her airway, the doctor and nurse had arrived on the scene and identified themselves. Nook then began chest compressions while Myers knelt beside and administered mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Every parent’s worst nightmare materialized for one parent in particular who had been playing with his 4-year-old son in the pool’s shallow end on that hot summer day. With his little boy in his arms, he stood up to discern the initial nearby commotion and recognized his daughter’s swimsuit in its midst. Montgomery recalled that the pool quickly became a “silent area” because everyone had exited the water to wait in hushed concern. The horrified father rushed to his little girl but likewise had no recourse but to await the potential tragedy’s outcome.
Montgomery said that by the second or third CPR cycle (about four minutes), the youngster coughed. An ambulance arrived about seven minutes later. Amazingly, the 6-year-old girl, unnamed because the family preferred to remain anonymous, recovered with no residual effects and is 100 percent well.
Nook reported that Timnath Ranch is a pretty close-knit community. She has two daughters, ages 2 and 7. Dr. Myers has a 3-year-old daughter and a 6-year-old son. The two older of the children are in the same Bethke Elementary School grade as the girl resuscitated.
She reportedly had had two summers of swimming lessons and two lifeguards were on duty when she drowned (Montgomery believes the bright sun’s reflection on the water obscured a view of the pool’s bottom). It was providential that trained medical professionals were on-site to revive the child.
One missing person in the successful rescue/resuscitation is the teenage girl who found the child underwater. Had she not, the outcome would likely have been different. She has never come forward. Montgomery said she is the true hero.
If anyone knows her identity, please contact Timnath News so she can be honored for her prominent part in saving a child’s life.