EMSA Tech Goes Beyond The Call of Duty

Monday, November 20th 2006, 6:41 pm
By: News On 6

There are some tense moments during a near drowning in Tulsa.

An EMSA EMT is being credited with going above and beyond the call of duty to try and save a mans life.

News on 6 anchor Jennifer Loren talked with that EMT just after the dramatic pool rescue where a lawn worker had fallen in and sank to the bottom.

It took EMSA EMT’s less than two minutes to get to a possible drowning call at 27th and Utica. But as they reached the pool where it happened, it appeared it wasn't a possible drowning. It was a drowning.

"There was a lawn worker lying at the bottom of the pool with a leaf-blower strapped to his back," said EMT Keith Johnson.

Still, it took EMT Keith Johnson only seconds to decide what to do next.

"From there I stripped my uniform off and dove in," Johnson said.

As Johnson dove into the deep end of the pool, he says he knew the water would be cold, but he wasn't sure how drastically it would affect him.

"When I jumped in I realized just exactly how cold it was. I froze up a little bit. I surfaced, kind of caught my breath, and tried to go back under and try to reach the man to pull him out," said Johnson.

But what you may not realize is that, cold water or not, EMT’s and paramedics are not trained to do this, and they're not required to either.

"I've never been trained in any type of water rescue. I've never been a lifeguard," Johnson said.

In a drowning situation it’s actually up to the EMT whether they jump in or not. But in this case, Johnson says it was instinct. "It’s an instinct that a lot of EMT’s and paramedics have, to want to help someone to save a life."

In the end the man had to be pulled out of the pool with a long hook called a pike pole. According to police he was showing signs of life on his way to the hospital.

The landscaper was listed in critical condition Monday night. His name has not been released. But we do know he is 49-years old.