Lifeguard honored for saving life at Tulsa park

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Reported by: Ron Terrell
Updated: 7/02/2013 8:14 pm Published: 7/02/2013 5:15 pm

Being a lifeguard is a summer job for many high school and college students.

It requires extensive training, which paid off for a lifeguard and a very lucky 11-year-old.

The Emergency Medical Services Authority honored Lindsey Schwager as an Everyday Hero, an award given for special heroic actions.

In June, Eugenia Pete and her 11-year old son, Matthew Pete, were at Chandler Park for a church picnic. Matthew decided to get in the pool with the other kids.

Then, despite his mother telling him not to, Matthew got on the waterslide and went down it into the deep end of the pool.

"I just went down the slide, and I couldn't get out of the water. I was swimming up, but I wasn't going up. It was just scary," said Matthew.

"My training kicked in immediately," said Schwager.

Matthew was unconscious and floating in the pool.

"Once I saw that he wasn't OK, I just got in the pool, wasn't paying attention to anybody else, got him to the side, and did what I thought was gonna help him," said Schwager.

"I am just so thankful to God that Lindsey did her job in a quick way. I know that all stories don't turn out like this, and my heart goes out to the families that can't come back and tell their lifeguard thank you," said Matthew's mother.

There are four pools at Tulsa County parks, and they each have a full staff of lifeguards.

"Pools are looked at as a fun place to be and a safe place to be, and we encourage that. And we always work with our young people, and they are young people, in this particular case, the need arose, Lindsay stepped in just like she's been trained over the years. It was a very special thing for us. We're very thankful that it works out well for everybody," said Richard Bales, the Tulsa Parks director.

Lindsay's major at the University of Central Oklahoma is fitting; she's studying to be a nurse. Matthew says he'll be taking some swimming lessons very soon.

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