Chicago Fire Department officials praised the efforts of the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place hotel’s general manager after a 5-year-old boy nearly drowned in the hotel pool Saturday morning.
Just before 9 a.m., fire officials were called to scene after staff at the hotel, 2233 S. King Drive, discovered the child at the bottom of the pool. Hotel staff said the hotel’s general manager pulled the child out of the water and performed CPR on him before paramedics arrived. The boy was taken to Lurie Children’s Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition, officials said.
Roscoe Reynolds, a paramedic with the Chicago Fire Department who was one of the first people on scene, said that when they arrived, the boy’s father was on the floor with the child, who was wrapped in a towel and wearing swim clothes. The child was crying but lethargic, Reynolds said. Reynolds praised the general manager’s actions and said they were a “life-changer.”
“Without that hands-on CPR prior to our arrival, the success ratio would probably not be what it is now,” Reynolds said of the general manager’s actions. “Without that initial quick thinking on his behalf and starting (emergency life support) care, we would have a long route to the start. We’re glad he jumped in, glad he was trained.”
Reynolds said that everyone should be trained in hands-on CPR and that this was an example of how it changed an outcome dramatically.
“You never know when it will come in handy, and as you can see, it did come in handy today,” he said.
Every second counts when a person is losing oxygen and brain cells are dying, said Janice Orozco, a paramedic with the Chicago Fire Department who was on the scene.
The boy was put on oxygen support, an IV and a heart monitor in the ambulance, but was crying and seemed to recognize his mother, who was consoling him on the way to Lurie Children’s Hospital, officials said.
It is not clear how long the boy had been in the water. Officials said he is now breathing spontaneously.
“All of our crews did an outstanding job today,” said Jeffrey Horan, deputy district chief of the Chicago Fire Department. “All their training that we train on every single day paid off here and saved the life of a child. Most importantly, the child will go on and live a normal life, and because of the quick actions by the civilian by doing hands-on CPR, the outcome was much greater.”
Fire officials haven’t been in contact with the family after the incident.
“We went to the next call,” Reynolds said.