Boy on field trip is revived after nearly drowning in city pool


Published: Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 1:03 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 11:20 p.m.

A 6-year-old boy was revived Wednesday morning after nearly drowning in the city's Dwight H. Hunter Pool, more commonly known as Northeast Pool.

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Lifeguard Alan Davis looks over children swimming at the Dwight H. Hunter pool in Gainesville on Wednesday after an incident where he rescued a child who nearly drowned.

Rob C. Witzel/Staff photographer

The boy, a kindergartner, was there on a field trip with fellow students from the One Room School House Project, a charter school at 4180 NE 15th St., when at about 10 a.m., a lifeguard and a chaperone noticed him face down in the water, city spokesman Chip Skinner said.

When he was pulled from the pool, he wasn't breathing but was revived by an off-duty paramedic there with her children, Skinner said.

The boy was taken to Shands at the University of Florida for observation and was responsive, said Brett Beckett, the school's principal.



"He seemed really upbeat and I'm sure a little shaken," said Beckett, who visited him at the hospital. "He's a good kid."

Beckett said 81 students were at the pool Wednesday for their fourth and final field trip of the school year.

Tony McCloud, a Gainesville Work Camp correctional officer whose wife is friends with the boy's mother, was at the pool, located at 1100 NE 14th St., to watch his daughter, a fourth-grader, swim.

McCloud said he was keeping an eye on the boy as he splashed around in the shallow end because he knew he couldn't swim.

He said he turned his attention away for about 45 seconds to watch his daughter and then heard the lifeguard's whistle.

The lifeguard, Alan Davis, pulled the boy from the pool, and the paramedic, Rebecca Hilliard, began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

"He came back. He came back to," McCloud said. "And after that, I picked him up, put a towel over him."

Hilliard, who said she was a stay-at-home mom before becoming a paramedic in Bradford County two years ago, said she was at the pool with her three children, two of whom go to the One Room School House.

She wasn't sure what happened in the pool.

But, she said, "the lifeguard pulled him out of the water, and I just did my job."

Hilliard praised the teachers and staff at the pool, saying she didn't think she "did anything different than anybody else would have done."

"I was just very, very glad that I had the training and education to be able to help," she said.

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