LOCAL firefighter's CPR training saves a teen's life

Tuesday, July 24th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A Claremore family is very thankful to an off-duty Tulsa firefighter. Over the weekend, he saved their daughter with "rescue breathing", an easy to learn technique.

KOTV’s Emory Bryan talked with the victim and the firefighter. A young girl, 13 years old, was unconscious and not breathing at the bottom of a motel swimming pool. Her brother pulled her up, and into the arms of someone who knew what to do. Firefighter Jess Forest doesn't consider himself a hero. "I really thank God that I was there." But even he will admit this rescue was special. "I'm used to working on strangers, and it's a little different feeling when it's somebody you know."

Saturday night - he and his family were in the pool at the Days Inn in Moore. Suddenly - someone pulled a limp body to the surface. "I said I hope she's playing and I pulled her hair back off of her face and she was blue." And in that blue face - he recognized 13-year-old Erica Phillips - a family friend. She was pulled up by her brother, Marcus. "I started tapping her leg thinking she was playing and she didn't do anything."

Her parents came running. Mother, Dana Murphy, "Her eyes were open, but she wasn't alert and she didn't respond to questions." She was poolside, being resuscitated by Jess Forest, using "rescue breathing" "Rolled her back over gave her a few more breaths, she coughed and gagged and started breathing." His breathing saved her life - but Erica doesn't remember any of it. “I woke up at the hospital and I had my bathing suit on and I asked someone why I had it on, I couldn't remember."

The technique Jess used is easy to learn - it's called rescue breathing. It's part of every CPR course. For information on classes, go to the internet at www.tulsacpr.com.