Lakeland - On Monday, October 7, 2019, the Lakeland Fire Department recognized two teens at the City of Lakeland, FL - Government Commission Meeting for taking life-saving actions to help a near-drowning patient.
This is what happened:
"On Sunday, September 8, 2019, at 5:46 p.m. the Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) was dispatched to a near-drowning incident at Carlton Arms Apartments of North Lakeland, located at 4500 Williamstown Blvd. The initial call stated that there was an unresponsive person located at the pool of the apartment complex. There was also information that a citizen was performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
There were several people in and around the pool area when the 15-year-old patient entered the water and began to swim. After approximately five minutes, a bystander noticed that the patient was at the bottom of the pool and called for others around the pool to help.
At the pool that day was 16-year-old Jacob Serrano-Solis. Jacob jumped into the pool and retrieved the patient from the bottom of the deep end of the pool. Wasting no time, another teenager, 15-year-old Justin Taylor-Perez, who was swimming in the pool, swam over and assisted Jacob with pulling the patient out of the water.
Once the patient was pulled out of the water, it was observed that the patient was unresponsive. Justin, who had taken CPR classes when he attended Kathleen Middle School, knew that the patient needed chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth. Thanks to his training in middle school, he corrected a bystander who tried to push on the patient’s stomach, took command and began chest compressions while having a family member of the patient perform the mouth-to-mouth breathing needed in CPR.
After a few minutes of CPR, the patient became conscious, took a breath and began labored breathing. Soon after, personnel from #LFD and Polk County Fire Rescue arrived at the scene and took over the medical care of the patient who was airlifted to a nearby hospital.
What Jacob and Justin did was highly commendable and greatly appreciated. So much so that their efforts are being recognized today with the Lakeland Fire Department’s Citizen Hero Award. Attending medics shared that they attribute the two teens' actions a contributing factor to the patient’s survival and eventual recovery.
It is also important to recognize the impacts of in-school programs, like Kathleen Middle School’s Polk County Public Schools first-aid course; which taught Justin how to properly perform CPR and resulted in a life saved.
The Firefighters / Medics at the Lakeland Fire Department are often lauded as being heroes in the community. However, today the department wants to recognize the unsung heroes in Lakeland; citizens like Jacob and Justin who did what they could to help. They each took actions that some would hesitate to, and did it all because they knew it was the right thing to do in someone’s time of absolute need.
We would also like to thank the management at Carlton Arms Apartments of North Lakeland for making LFD aware of Jacob and Justin’s actions and providing helpful information that contributed to this award."