Quick-Thinking Empire Lifeguards Save Toddler from Drowning

EMPIRE -- Fun, warm poolside days can quickly turn into danger.

That’s exactly what happened to a 3-year-old boy Saturday afternoon at the community pool in Empire. Lifeguard Tyler Tam was on watch, he said he heard a woman scream for help.

“Pretty scary but you have to control yourself and keep calm,” Tam said.

Tam said he jumped in and pulled the little boy out of the water and explained that the kid wasn’t breathing.

“I started to do CPR right away,” he told FOX40.

Tam and fellow lifeguards Kimberly Cuevas and Ninweh Gorges took turns performing CPR. They said, despite the frenzy around them, they remained focused and calm.

“Well, I just think we just did our job and that we were just trained to do that,” Gorges said

About 10 minutes later, a good sign.

“Towards the end he started breathing and then he started crying which is a good thing because that means he's breathing,” Tam said.

The three lifeguards are now being hailed as heroes.

“They're great kids and we're very fortunate to have support of the entire community,” the Deputy Director of the Stanislaus PAL’s organization, Bret Silver said.

But they said, they were just doing what they’ve been trained to do.

“I feel really proud of where I work and really proud of the team I have,” Kimberly Cuevas said.

Silver said the lifeguards undergo extensive training. He added that community pools are great ways to cool off in the summer heat and advises all families to stay out of canals and fast-moving rivers.