Wednesday, September 8, 2010

North Charleston Fire Chief presents Citizen Award for life saving actions

Fire Chief presents Citizen AwardNorth Charleston Fire Chief Gregory A. Bulanow presented both Tianna Olivera and Michelle Becknell the Chief’s Citizen Award at the City Council meeting on Thursday, September 9, 2010 for their quick response to an emergency situation that saved the life of a child.

The Chief’s Citizen Award is reserved for the Fire Chief to recognize a citizen for an outstanding action or achievement that results in a positive and/or dramatic change in the fire department and/or community.

On August 1, 2010, Battalion Chief J.T. Whetsell and Engine 211 responded to the swimming pool on Oak Forest Blvd. for a reported drowning.  The call for assistance came into dispatch at 1:35 pm stating that a three-year-old male had drowned at the Oak Forest Village swimming pool and that CPR was in progress.

Battalion Chief Whetsell and Engine 211 arrived on the scene at 1:41pm and discovered the mother holding the three-year-old boy in her arms.  Battalion Chief Whetsell and the crew of Engine 211 approached the mother and discovered the boy was conscious and alert.  The crew from Engine 211 started assessing the boy as Dorchester County EMS arrived on the scene.

Upon speaking with bystanders at the scene it was discovered that the boy went into the pool without wearing his life vest and was playing in the shallow area with his nine-year-old sister and several other children.  The children in the pool moved away from the area where they were playing and the sister came out of the water holding her unconscious brother.  When the boy was removed from the pool it was discovered that he was not breathing and did not have a pulse.  A bystander stepped in and began performing CPR on the boy and after a minute he regained consciousness and was able to breathe on his own.

The boy was admitted to the Medical University of South Carolina and was discharged after a few days.  He has fully recovered from the ordeal without any complications.  If it were not for the quick actions of the boy’s sister, Tianna Olivera, and the immediate delivery of CPR by a bystander, Ms. Michelle Becknell, this incident could have had a much different outcome.

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