Knowing CPR - A Life Saver
A FIRST RESPONDER'S STORY: Knowing proper CPR helps firefighter save girl’s life.
It’s still emotional for Joanna Firefighter Tyler Stroud, even three days later.
Talking about the Sunday when he heard a neighbor’s cry for help, Stroud told The Chronicle last week, “I’m just a humble guy. The Good Lord put me there.”
Stroud used his first responder training to clear the neighbor’s 2-year-old daughter’s lungs of water, after a pool accident. She and her sister were in the pool, and the dad scooped them up and out of the water. “The dad helped me, he definitely helped me save her life. He got her to (my) house quickly.”
Stroud said he “heard yelling then it sounded like my door was hit by a freight train.”
After Stroud took over CPR, the dad was on the phone with county dispatch, and EMS was on the way to Joanna. Officers with the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office responded, too, along with Joanna Fire Department Chief Robert Plaxico.
“Robert saw that I had her back breathing, and she was crying,” Stroud said.
Help arrived in 15 minutes. “I got on the phone to dispatch because I wanted to know who is coming to me,” Stroud said.
The girl brought up the water from her lungs after what Stroud estimates was about 10 minutes of CPR.
“She got a good burb,” he said.
In a whirlwind, the girls and EMTs were in a Laurens County ambulance, and she was “up, and smiling and talking, by the time they got her to Greenville Memorial, that’s all that matters,” Stroud said. At the hospital, they watched her fever and monitored for bacteria and inflammation. Her vital signs were good. She was headed home by the time Tyler and his family were planning a hospital visit; Tyler bought her a get-well gift at the Dollar General.
“When I knew that she was coming home, that was everything,” Stroud said.
“You can tell the taxpayers, the money that we spend training firefighters, it does not go to waste. Everyone, especially if they have children, should learn CPR” - and, learn it the right way.
Stroud said he was mindful that he was working on a child when he was doing chest compressions. The pushes had to be “deep enough” to dispel the water, but he had to be careful not to cause internal injuries. “My training kicked in, but I was a nervous wreck,” Stroud said. “God was with us that day.”
Stroud said he placed the child on a grassy area, not concrete, to administer CPR. After the water was expelled, he patted her on the back to continue the process, and to let her know everything was going to be okay. “The EMS guy came running; I picked her up and started running, and I handed her off.”
Taking CPR classes at the YMCA, Red Cross or other places can be beneficial for everyone, the firefighter said, because the instructors will demonstrate how to work on children and adults - “and that benefits everybody.”
When Stroud was headed to work last week, the girl was playing in her yard, and she smiled and waved. They’ve been neighbors about two years. Stroud, still emotional thinking back on the experience, said, “She was back to being a kid again.”