Quick Action at Swim Club Saves Boy from Drowning

Reports say defibrillator was on hand but rescuers performed CPR to revive swimmer.

Rescuers at the in Gambrills reacted quickly over the weekend when an 8-year-old boy was saved from drowning. The boy was reportedly attending a birthday party and not a member at the swim club.

For many in the area, the incident brought back memories of the 2006 death of Connor Freed, a 5-year-old who drowned in Crofton. In early July, Anne Arundel County that requires automated external defibrillators at local public and semi-public pools.

The defibrillator at the swim club was donated by the Connor Cares Foundation and rescuers at the pool revived the boy by performing CPR—but the AED machine was "added protection," according to a report by ABC2 News.

Defibrillators—portable devices that send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm—increase drowning survival rate to 85 percent, according to a press release from Anne Arundel County.

A fire official told Patch that the initial report on Saturday afternoon was that the boy was unresponsive and did not have a pulse after the incident.

But the boy had a palpable pulse and was breathing on his own by the time the emergency crew arrived, according to Chief Michael Cox of the Anne Arundel County Fire Department. The boy was flown by air to Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore and reportedly kept for evaluation.

Local residents who were at the swim club during the incident left comments on Patch and Facebook to express their gratitude to the lifeguard and other rescuers. Yet, many were also thinking of Connor.

"So happy he is going to be OK, and that the lifeguards and nurse on the scene responded effectively. Drownings can happen so quickly," wrote Karen Andrysiak Ramey on Crofton Patch's Facebook page. "I also am thinking today of Connor, the young boy who drowned a few years ago in a Crofton pool. His family created a foundation to support drowning prevention, and has presented AEDs to all of the pools in the county. This story must be gratifying, but bittersweet to them."

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