Teen lifeguards save boy’s life at Basalt pool
Quick reactions by two lifeguards at the Basalt pool helped save a seven-year-old boy from drowning yesterday, according to authorities.
The lifeguards, both entering their senior year at Basalt High School, leapt into action at about 1:40 p.m. when Zane Glassier either fell or was pushed into water he couldn’t handle. Glassier is the son of Gary Glassier of the El Jebel area.
There was conflicting information about what Glassier was doing when it became apparent he needed help. Basalt Police Officer Dean Everding said lifeguard Cassidy Pokorny went to the boy’s aid when he saw him doing a “dead man float.” Witnesses suggested Glassier sank to the bottom of the pool.
Pokorny jumped in the water and pulled the boy out.
“At that time he had started to turn blue,” said Everding.
Another lifeguard, Chris Keran, 17, wasn’t on poolside duty at the time and was taking his break on the deck when he heard Pokorny’s cry for help. He said he rushed to the scene of the commotion and realized Glassier needed CPR.
After about one minute to 90 seconds of alternating between mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and chest compression, Glassier vomited and started spitting up water, according to Keran.
He said the event happened so fast that that he just reacted. He didn’t recall thinking about what he had to do, but instead applied what he learned in CPR courses.
Everding said there was no doubt in his mind that the lifeguards were true lifesavers.
Several other people also were involved in the effort to revive the boy. Witnesses said a couple of mothers at the pool helped.
Jack Rafferty, a volunteer with the Carbondale fire district, was in the area and was the first medical administrator on the scene. He directed the medical treatment between the time CPR was administered and the ambulance crew arrived from the Basalt Fire District.
Glassier was conscious and breathing but not alert when the ambulance arrived, according to Everding. While en route to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, the boy became alert, according to Bob Guion, who responded with the Basalt medical team.
Glassier was in stable condition, but was scheduled to remain in the hospital overnight for observation, according to Basalt Police Chief Jim Stryker.
Stryker said he had been directed by Basalt Town Manager Tom Baker to make a standard follow-up investigation into the incident. One of the factors that will be examined is whether there was enough supervision for the number of people in the pool.
Glassier was visiting the pool with several other kids from Basalt’s Camp Chip-a-Tooth, according to authorities. The pool was also open to the general public.
Teachers at the camp informed parents about the incident when they picked up their children Monday afternoon. Some parents were asking questions about the level of supervision.
Basalt Mayor Rick Stevens has raised concerns during public meetings in past summers about the level of supervision at the pool. As a regular pool user, he said, he believes the staff has been doing a good job of supervision this year.
However, after a close call it’s appropriate for the town to take a closer look at its procedures and whether they need to be improved, he said. He credited the two lifeguards for their response to trouble.
“They did what they’re supposed to do,” Stevens said. “How it got to that point is what we’re looking at.”
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