Lifeguards Come To Worker's Aid
WATERLOO --- Lifeguards at Lost Island AdventurePark got a chance to put their skills to work last week.
A construction worker who was putting the finishing touches on a new deck collapsed after walking up stairs. Sean Newlin and Sam Eischen, both 21, sprang into action, administering CPR until paramedics with Waterloo Fire Rescue arrived and used an automated external defibrillator to shock his heart back into action.
"This is the first time we've had a real-life scenario," said Eric Bertch, general manager of Lost Island, who assisted the lifeguards. "They did an excellent job."
Both Eischen and Newlin are University of Northern Iowa students and are in their first year as lifeguards at the water park. Eischen, of Humboldt, is a sales major and is on the UNI football team.
Newlin, of Naperville, Ill., is on the UNI track team and is majoring in air quality.
Eischen said he was working the bottom of the orange-and-green slide when Bertch called him about the emergency. He yelled for staff at the top of the slide to stop sending people down and then rushed to the patio. "He was passed out and didn't have a pulse or anything, so we started CPR on him," Eischen said. He and Bertch worked a breathing bag while Newlin handled the chest compressions.
"We did a full cycle of that, and then we reassessed. Nothing had really changed, so we did it again and about half way through the ambulance came," he said.
After the lifeguards completed the second cycle, the paramedics took over. They shocked him with the AED and rushed him to the hospital. Bertch said the waterpark also has an AED, and the park's device was brought to the scene just as the ambulance arrived.
The construction worker, whose name wasn't available, was hospitalized and had an angioplasty operation, Bertch said he was told. He said there were further complications.
"He's not out of the woods yet, but he's still alive," Bertch said. Bertch said his staff continually trains for such incidents but in the past they have dealt with only minor medical problems.
"We have the lifeguards training three times a week, so it's pretty much ingrained," he said.