GRANITE CITY — Kyle Parker had to work overtime in his lifeguard job at Wilson Park Pool on June 14.
The 18-year-old Parker had to rescue and revive a 3-year-old boy who was found drowning in the pool, which is managed by the Granite City Park District.
“My shift was almost over and it was almost time to go home,” said Parker, a Granite City resident. “When this happened, I had to be here for an extra hour after that.”
Still, Parker said he was happy that the boy survived.
“It was pretty crazy,” Parker said. “My nerves were running for quite a long time. I shook for about 20 minutes afterward, but it was pretty cool to save someone’s life.”
After rescuing the boy, Parker got plenty of congratulations from his co-workers and patrons.
“We’re so proud of Kyle and this is one of those instances that we train a ton and you hope you never have to do that,” Granite City Park District facilities manager Justin Brinkmeyer said. “They’ve been well-trained and we practice and practice for things like this. We’re so proud of Kyle and the rest of the staff for the way they responded.”
Parker said he knew there was trouble when the boy, who was not identified, was drowning in the 4-foot section of the pool.
“I saw a kid kind of lay on his back and I looked over once and he was kind of moving a little bit,” Parker said. “Then I looked over a second time and he was definitely not moving. So I shook his hand into the water and he didn’t respond. So I ripped him out of the water onto the deck. I checked to see if he was going to respond and he didn’t. So I took precautions and checked to see his pulse and see if he’s breathing. He had a pulse, but he was not breathing. I gave him 20 chest compressions. After that, he puked the water out of his mouth.”
Brinkmeyer said the boy came to the pool with a guardian.
“They were at the facility, but not in the vicinity,” he said.
Parker has advice to young children who plan to go swimming at the pool.
“Stick with your parents and please bring in them in the pool with you,” Parker said.
Parker was hired as lifeguard at Wilson Park Pool last year.
“I enjoy it,” Parker said. “I think it’s really fun. It’s a little hot sometimes and I’m not a hot-weather kind of person, but it’s really fun. I like the people. Originally, I thought it was just a summer job. After the first couple of days, I really enjoyed it, so I came back this year and I was really excited. I want to be a doctor later in life.”
Parker recently wrapped up his freshman year at Augustana College. He plays for the school’s hockey team.
Parker graduated from Granite City High in 2015. He played for the school’s hockey and volleyball teams.