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Lifeguards At FDR State Park Save Child From Drowning

A child was saved from drowning in the pool at FDR State Park in Yorktown.
A child was saved from drowning in the pool at FDR State Park in Yorktown. Photo Credit: Sam Barron

YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y. -- Lifeguards at FDR State Park in Yorktown sprang into action Thursday and helped save the life of a child who was found unconscious in the water.

Lifeguard Keith Mattos saw the child, believed to be around 4 years old, bobbing in the water and initiated a trauma save at around 1:30 p.m., according to park manager Brian Strasavich.

The child, who was there with a camp, was not breathing and had no pulse, but after Mattos performed CPR, the child started coughing up water and showing signs of life.

The child was also given oxygen and taken to a hospital.

"The child is doing fine," Strasavich said.

Strasavich said he is filled with a tremendous amount of pride with how his lifeguards handled the scenario.

"We train them everyday," Strasavich said. "The water can be dangerous."

Strasavich said parents should watch their children when they go into the water.

Ariel Bendavid was one of the lifeguards who responded to the trauma call after Mattos blew his whistle three times.

"It was the most terrifying moment in my five years of working here," Bendavid, assistant chief lifeguard, said. "It's totally different from training."

Bendavid said all the lifeguards did exactly what they were supposed to do in a trauma situation.

"We are so thankful we were able to save him," Bendavids said. "I told my mom and aunt, who are nurses, and they were impressed. We were prepared. You have to stay on your toes as a lifeguard."

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