A boy who almost drowned in the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino pool in Lemoore was saved by a trio of rescuers: a 9-year-old girl who saw him floating face down, the girl’s father and an off-duty firefighter who performed CPR and got him breathing again.
The drama unfolded about 8 p.m. Sunday.
The name and age of the boy, who was reportedly 4 or younger, was not available Tuesday afternoon.
Peter Gonzalez of Lemoore had gone to the hotel pool with his wife and two children.
Gonzalez was relaxing in the hot tub next to the pool when his 9-year-old daughter Madison, a third-grader, came running up and yelled that someone in the pool was drowning.
Gonzalez got out of the hot tub and saw the boy in the deep end.
“He was face down and floating,” Gonzalez said. “I dove in the pool. The body was completely lifeless.”
He got the boy out of the pool and “my emotions took over,” Gonzalez said. “I did 10 pumps on his chest,” but the boy did not wake up.
Meanwhile, on the second floor balcony of the hotel, Russell Shoumake of San Diego heard people yelling “Security! Security!”
He looked toward the commotion.
“I saw a kid being pulled out of the pool,” he said.
Shoumake is a firefighter and paramedic at the Lemoore Federal Fire Department at Lemoore Naval Air Station, where he has been employed a mere two weeks. He has been a firefighter for 14 years and a paramedic for eight years.
He immediately ran downstairs and jumped a fence to get to the pool, which took about 30 seconds, Shoumake said.
He rushed to the boy’s side and checked for a pulse but found none. “He was unresponsive,” Shoumake said. “He wasn’t even breathing.”
He said he administered four rounds of CPR, which is 120 compressions. “We got the pulse back, and he was breathing,” he said.
About five or six minutes later, Shoumake said, an ambulance arrived and took the child to a local hospital. He later was taken to Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera County.
Shoumake said he credits the girl who spotted the boy and alerted her father for saving the boy.
The Kings County Fire Department confirmed that an incident took place at the hotel pool about 8 p.m. Sunday. The department responded to assist.
Gonzalez said Tuesday that the boy’s grandmother lives in Armona. She told him that the boy was breathing and talking, and was in good condition.
The experience was emotionally draining, Gonzalez said: “I couldn’t sleep the whole night.”
Gonzalez said “everybody all together” saved the boy’s life.