Part of serving as a First Responder is rushing to emergencies, often wondering if you will arrive in time. But sometimes the stars align and these heroes happen to be at the right place at the right time.
Fortunately, for a 7-year-old girl and her family, Sgt. Stephen Rhodes was nearby when the girl became trapped underneath a capsized boat. Sgt. Rhodes was able to rescue her from under the boat and began administering lifesaving CPR.
"There's a ton of little things that happened that gave her the perfect opportunity to survive,... If I talk plainly, God was not ready for her."Sgt. Stephen Rhodes
It all started as a pretty routine day for Sgt. Rhodes who was assigned to patrol the waterways and issue citations to fisherman violating catching limits. While issuing such a ticket, Sgt. Rhodes noticed a boat was struggling near shore in some rough turf.
Things went from bad to worse and before long, Sgt. Rhodes found himself rapidly unloading his boat and getting it into the water with the help of some bystanders. Sgt. Rhodes managed to get to the capsized vessel where all but one of the family members had managed to get on top of the hull.
Realizing that a child was missing, Sgt. Rhodes dove into the rough waters and located the unresponsive child, pulling her to the surface. Once in the boat Sgt. Rhodes realized she was still not breathing and began administering CPR.
"Her eyes were open, and her gaze was fixed. She was not blinking," Rhodes said. Rhodes put the little girl on the back of his boat and began CPR. For a moment, Rhodes said the girl's tiny body reminded him of his oldest child, Samantha. "This could be my daughter," he recalled thinking.EMS1
After administering chest compressions, Sgt. Rhodes noticed that the little girl had regained a weak pulse and rushed her to shore and onto an awaiting ambulance. While enroute to a nearby hospital the child destabilized and paramedics airlifted her the rest of the way. Thankfully, she is in stable condition and expected to recover.
Sgt. Rhodes was deeply affected by the incident, and rightfully so. One can only imagine the horror of trying to resuscitate a helpless child while thinking of kids at home. Thank God for men and women like Sgt. Rhodes.
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