Green River Star -

By DAVID MARTIN
Editor 

Lifeguard saves child at Rec. Center

 

November 22, 2017



A lifeguard's quick thinking and action is credited with preventing tragedy at the Green River Recreation Center Nov. 4.

The lifeguard, Andrea Uhrig, was recognized by the Green River City Council Tuesday night.

Katie Blood, recreation supervisor for the city, said Uhrig had spotted a distressed child in the pool during the center's popular iceberg event. Blood said the child, who was an inexperienced swimmer, was swimming with a more experienced relative at a deeper portion of the pool.

Uhrig, noticing the child had a green band, which denotes swimming inexperience, blew her whistle and ordered the child to swim toward the shallow side, but noticed the child quickly become distressed and started to struggle in the water. Blood said Uhrig blew her whistle a second time and noticed the child's face become panicked, heard the child whimper and noticed the child could not swim away.

At that point, the lifeguard entered the pool and assisted the child. Blood said about 30 witnesses watched Uhrig help the child during one of the pool's busiest times.

"It could have been a totally different story," Blood concluded.

Blood said that Saturday event was the first Saturday Uhrig had worked at the recreation center, saying she chose that day to familiarize herself with the inflatable iceberg.

Prior to that day, Uhrig worked as the head lifeguard Monday through Friday since Oct. 2016.

"Andrea has taken on the challenges we've thrown at her with vigor," Blood said about Uhrig's dedication to the recreation center.

One city council member, Lisa Maes, had previously worked as a lifeguard for the city and recognized how challenging it could be for a lifeguard to notice someone in distress in a packed swimming pool.

"You do have to look at the person's face ... you can tell when someone is in trouble," Maes said.

 

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