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Off-duty nurse saves 4-year-old from drowning

Scottsdale Fire Department and AMR-Life Line Ambulance honor quick, life-saving action

On June 1, several Scottsdale families were enjoying some sun and water play at the community pool.  Shelby Parker became distracted chatting with other moms when her son Ryan slipped out of view and began to struggle in the water. Shelby soon realized he was not within sight and found him at the bottom of the pool.

Amanda, a NICU Nurse at HonorHealth Scottsdale Shea Medical Center, was also enjoying some sun that day.  When she heard the commotion, Amanda immediately stepped in and started CPR.  Scottsdale Fire and AMR-Life Line crews arrived and transported Ryan to HonorHealth Scottsdale Shea Medical Center.  He regained consciousness but was transported as a precaution.  The doctors say he was under water for about a minute.

Scottsdale Fire and AMR-Life Line honor Amanda for her quick and calm response that contributed to saving Ryan that afternoon.

"Preventing drowning depends on a multi-layered approach," says Scottsdale Assistant Fire Chief Eric Valliere. "Maintaining these layers is important to lower the risk of this preventable injury."

  • Adult supervision is key. Eye-to-eye supervision must be kept on kids in the pool at all times. Touch supervision is recommended for new swimmers.  Adults should not swim alone, either.
  • Maintain barriers to block access to water when children are not expected to be swimming.  Coast-guard approved life jackets should be worn by those who don’t know how to swim or in water above their swimming ability.  
  • Take classes to learn to swim. 
  • And finally, knowing how to administer Mouth-to-Mouth CPR is the last line of defense and can be the difference between life and death in a drowning incident. CPR and First Aid classes are offered by Scottsdale Fire.

"Thankfully, Amanda was there when all else failed for this family," says Valliere. "We all appreciate her willingness to be a hero that day -- and every day she serves as a nurse."

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