On Monday afternoon at approximately 12:50 p.m., emergency responders were dispatched to the Creekside subdivision pool off Brisbon Road in reference to “a child who is drowning”.
Before they arrived, a Ghost Coast Landscape employee by the name of Jose Ortiz was working nearby and heard loud screaming coming from inside the pool area. That’s when his National Guard training kicked in.
“I ran over to the fence as fast as I could. There were two adults frantically screaming that a boy was drowning. I noticed they already had him out of the water, so I yelled that I was going to call 911. They yelled back that they already did”, Ortiz told us in an interview.
That’s when Ortiz jumped the security fence to gain access to the pool and ran over to help. According to Ortiz, “The boy was lying on his back and ‘was out’. His eyes were all over the place. I wasn’t expecting him to be in such bad shape. One adult was doing CPR. I assisted by checking his airways and was prepared to switch out until help arrived.”
That’s when Ortiz looked over and saw several small children watching this nightmare unfold. “They didn’t need to witness something like this. I wanted to get them away from the situation. I put myself in their shoes and imagined how I would feel watching my brother or cousin go through this. I took them by the hand and led them out of sight. That’s when first responders started arriving “, he stated.
First responders arrived just 3 minutes after the initial dispatch call came out. You can hear sirens in the background of Richmond Hill Fire when they reported being en route, just 20 seconds after the dispatch call was made.
Witnesses say the boy, who was three-years-old, was coughing and crying when emergency crews entered the pool area. He was alert and breathing but was transported to the hospital for further checks.
We spoke with Ghost Coast Landscape owner, Jay Schaffer, about the employee who jumped (literally) into action. Schaffer tells us, “He’s been with the company for about two months. He was not hired based off of his landscape experience but because he’s a person of high character and great work ethic. Hearing about him rushing to someone’s aide today wasn’t a surprise at all.”
We don’t have an update on the boy’s condition but he is expected to make a full recovery.