MAUMELLE, Ark. (KTHV) - It only takes a matter of seconds. A child can drown in as little time as it takes to answer the telephone, but two quick thinking teen lifeguards at Maumelle Parks and Recreation Center kept one young girl from being one of those children.
Monday is what they call daycare day at the Maumelle Swimming Pool. Large groups of kids come out to spend a day in the sun.
"Just normal day. Woke up, had some cereal, went to work. Nothing too special," recalled 18-year-old Buck Zurga.
It's a fun summer job for him, watching the pool at the Maumelle Parks and Recreation center. But Monday, Zurga and his co-worker Andrea caught a glimpse that didn't seem right.
"Saw a little girl. At first, I thought she was just holding her breath, and then I started counting in my head. I got up to about ten seconds, and that's when the life guard over there got up and got in the water to go get her, and when we pulled her out, she had blue lips and her skin was real pale," described Zurga."She wasn't breathing. She was unconscious, and she had no pulse."
Zurga and Andrea started CPR on the 5-year-old girl.
"I was doing the chest compressions. The other lifeguard with me, she was doing the resuscitation breaths," said Zurga. "Her chest just puffed up full of air, and her eyes kind of flickered open."
It was a big breath of life for a 5-year-old girl and a sigh of relief for Zurga and his partner.
"Yeah, I definitely had some fear going, but everything that I was taught just kind of kicked in, and it helped. I'm glad she is still here. That's what we are here for. That's what everybody on stands is here for," added Zurga.
An ambulance came and took the girl to the hospital, but her mother told THV 11 News she has since been released and is running around the house like her regular self. Her parents said they are forever grateful to Zurga and Andrea for saving their little girl's life.
The city of Maumelle plans to recognize the lifeguards at their next city council meeting. That is when the girl's parents said they hope to meet the two teenagers. Emergency crews that came to the scene continue to praise the efforts of Zurga and Andrea, saying they truly are lifesavers.