Lifeguards and good Samaritans honored for saving child’s life at Appleton pool

Lifeguards had their eye on a child who appeared disoriented and then became unresponsive at the bottom of a slide
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 6:36 PM CDT
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - July sixteenth was just another busy Saturday at Erb Pool in Appleton... until lifeguard Lola Levin noticed a disoriented child in the kiddie poll.

Erb Pool lifeguards and good Samaritans made a split-second decision when they saw the child had later become unresponsive at the base of a small slide.

“I pulled her out of the water and I realized she wasn’t breathing and she didn’t have a pulse. That’s something you never want to find out as a lifeguard,” Levin said. “I blew my three whistles which here at Erb Pool means there’s an emergency. Immediately as my three whistles went off my team snapped into action,.”

Additional pool staff immediately ran to the scene.

Two good Samaritans, Michelle Biese of De Pere and off-duty Neenah Police Officer Nate Franzke quickly joined the lifeguards to help.

“When we first take on this job we take an oath and it doesn’t matter if you’re on or off-duty. Just like a lot of jobs in health care or other public service... you just want to help,” Franzke explained.

They began CPR on the child who was having a medical emergency.

Thankfully, the CPR worked.

The child was taken to the hospital after Appleton Police and Fire crews arrived.

On Monday, Appleton’s mayor awarded the responders certificates of recognition for their timely action and compassion.

“It really is the people who are around... good Samaritans, community members who happen to be there gathered around, who are the first-first responders,” Mayor Jake Woodford said.

Lifeguard Levin, the primary responder, received an extra special honor.

“In recognition of your act of heroism and with gratitude for your efforts to train and prepare for exactly this moment when your community needed your help, I am honored to present you with this mayoral commendation,” Woodford said at the award ceremony.

Levin is proud of her team, but she says helping people is just part of the job.

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