Two Central Coast surf lifesavers have been recognised with the National Rescue of the Month award after resuscitating a baby last month at Ettalong Beach.
On Friday 2 September at 2:30pm, Umina SLSC surf lifesaver Jenni Darwin was running along the foreshore when a couple ran out of a house carrying a baby in their arms panicking and yelling for someone who knew CPR.
Jenni, who is herself a mother of five, ran to assist and started performing CPR.
“I grabbed the baby and turned her onto her tummy to clear her airways because it looked like she was choking on something,” Jenni Darwin said.
Local swim coach and fellow surf lifesaver Graeme Carroll, who was walking his dogs nearby, immediately went to assist.
“Graeme came over and gave her a couple of breaths (mouth to mouth) but nothing changed then he gave her a couple more and he said he could feel her breathing.”
Jenni then carried the baby into the house and kept her in the recovery position while Graeme called Triple Zero and described the baby’s condition to the paramedics.
Graeme helped to keep the parents and their older daughter calm while Jenni continued to monitor the child’s condition until paramedics arrived. The baby was transported to Gosford Hospital and has since made a full recovery.
“Having the experience and constant reinforcement of CPR methods when you’re on patrol and going through different types of scenarios paid off in this situation,” Jenni Darwin said.
“I’ve dealt with a couple of incidents in my time as a surf lifesaver but nothing this critical.”
The combined efforts of Jenni and Graeme in using the skills they’d learned as surf lifesavers helped them to save the child’s life.
“Without undertaking the training we do as surf lifesavers like the Bronze Medallion and first aid training we wouldn’t have known what to do,” Jenni Darwin said.
Medical staff at Gosford Hospital said if the pair weren’t there to provide emergency first aid, the baby probably not have survived.