THIRROUL 14-year-old Kyle Squires is being hailed as a hero after saving the life of his two-year-old brother Charlie, who almost drowned in the family’s back yard pool last week.
The incident has provided a timely safety warning for families as they spend time in and around water during the warmer weather.
Kyle, Charlie and brother Jack, 5, were enjoying a splash, with Charlie was sitting on a wading ledge and dad Jayson keeping watch in a chair beside him.
“The pool has a kid’s shelf on it. Charlie spends all of his time on it. He never goes near the edge,” Mr Squires said.
About 4pm, he told Kyle that he was going into the house to turn the kettle on for a cup of tea. No sooner had he left than Charlie slipped into the pool and sunk to the bottom.
Kyle said he looked up to check on his brother and he was gone.
“I was at the other end of the pool and I swam over and got him out, then I called out to my dad for help,” Kyle said.
Mr Squires said he heard Kyle’s cries and ran to the scene. It was then that both, who are members of Thirroul Surf Life Saving Club, put their training to use, in resuscitating the youngster. All the while, young Jack helped out by bringing his brother towels.
Listen to the triple zero emergency call:
Three paramedics attended the scene, among them Intensive Care Paramedic Peter Cribbs.
“When we got there the child was on his side on the floor with a depressed level of consciousness,” he said.
Paramedic Cribbs said that he related to the Squires’ family’s case as he had experienced the same alarm when his daughter was a toddler.
“When she was little, she was sitting on the side of the pool. I turned around looked back and she was gone, she had sunk to the bottom of the pool,” he said.
Paramedic Cribbs explained to Mr Squires about the diving reflex of young children, which means they don’t scream and splash when they enter the water.
“If you think about it, babies swim around in water for nine months, it’s a normal atmosphere, a normal environment for them,” he said.
“The younger a child is the stronger the association with that water environment. They don’t splash, they don’t kick they don’t do anything, they just sink to the bottom of the pool and if nobody pulls them out they die.”
Mum Emily rushed home to the scene. Mr Squires said a full complement of emergency staff was waiting at Wollongong Hospital for young Charlie’s arrival.
“The good news is, he woke up this morning. He looked around and asked for jelly. He’s now bounced back to 110 per cent and is home with us.”