It was approximately 7pm in the evening on Sunday when 4-year-old Olivia Martinez got together with her family in her grandparents’ swimming pool in South Corona. By then, dinner was already over and there was some time left for them to have a final swim before heading back home to Norco. At 7:09pm on 4th May, the firefighters from Corona Fire Station 3, which was a mile and a half away received a call informing them of a possible drowning case.
During the four minutes it took for an engine to respond to the incident, a lot had occurred. Olivia’s mother, Kelly, noticed her daughter at the very bottom of the pool without the life jacket she had wore upon jumping in. Kelly, who is also a registered nurse, carried Olivia out of the pool. Her husband, Ralph, had just received his CPR certificate a week earlier. Together, they worked in resuscitating their daughter. “She had stopped breathing and had turned blue. We did CPR for three minutes, and she woke up crying,” explained Kelly.
That was when the firefighters arrived to the scene. “We found Olivia’s mom next to her baby, who was crying and coughing up water. We placed her in a warm area, cleared her airways, put her on oxygen and warmed her with blankets,” stated firefighter/paramedic Tim Luna. After which, an ambulance drove Olivia and Kelly to Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. They were accompanied by a second firefighter, Dan Fagan.
The next morning, Olivia was transferred to Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center, where she was being monitored for another 2 days before she was discharged. After being discharged, Olivia and her mother pay a visit to Station 3 to give thanks to the firefighters. To their surprise, a gift was awaiting Olivia. Although firefighter Bobby Martens wasn’t part of the respond team, he did hear about the incident. He prepared a stuffed bear dressed as a firefighter for Olivia and she loved it.
“You never know when you turn your head for one second … the worst thing possible thing can happen,” added Kelly. Fortunately, both parents were trained in CPR, which resulted in a significant contribution in this instance. If it wasn’t for CPR, the outcome could have been very different. For the full story, you can read it here.