SAN ANTONIO – Dramatic body camera footage shows the lifesaving actions of two San Antonio police officers who sprung into action upon arriving at the scene of a reported drowning Aug.18.
Officers Richard Gonzalez and Robert Mount were called to a North Side home after a 6-year-old girl, who police described as a strong swimmer, had lost consciousness after holding her breath for too long underwater.
"As we're on the way to the call, your heart just sinks when you hear the call for a drowning come out and you just hope that you're close enough to be able to make a difference in the person who's affected by this," Mount said.
The girl's family believed she was underwater for five minutes and when Mount and Gonzalez got to the house, the girl was unconscious and Gonzalez said he couldn't find a pulse.
Gonzalez, who was an emergency medical technician prior to becoming a police officer, began chest compressions and back blows.
"Even not knowing the outcome, I knew what I had to do," Gonzalez said. "So I immediately I picked her up. I checked her airway. She wasn't breathing. Checked her pulse. I didn't feel a pulse at the time."
Gonzalez said after some time, the girl ended up throwing up whatever water she had swallowed and began breathing on her own.
The girl's grandfather, Jim Green, said the moments before police arrived are something he will never be able to forget.
"This truly was a miracle that I'm sitting here talking to you about my granddaughter who was dead on Aug. 18 at about 2:30 in the afternoon, and then brought back to life by amazing people," Green said.
The child spent five days recovering at North Baptist Hospital before she was allowed to go home.
While body camera video showed the officers response to the near-drowning, Mount said a licensed vocational nurse who immediately began lifesaving measures on the child made for a more positive outcome.
"If somebody did not start CPR prior to us getting there, this could have been a completely different outcome," Mount said.
The girl's family is encouraging everyone to be vigilant and receive CPR training.
More information on CPR training can be found on the Red Cross website.