More than a few Los Alamos firefighters and staff were reduced to tears at about 1 p.m. today when the 5-year-old boy involved in a swimming accident at Barranca Mesa Pool walked into Fire Administration and said, “thank you.”
“It was very emotional to see him walk in with his mom and dad and little sister,” Deputy Chief Just Grider told the Los Alamos Daily Post. “Many of us have children similar in age and I know every one of us are thinking about our own children when we go on calls involving children … they are always the most difficult calls for firefighters.”
Joshua Sanchez, 5, looked fit after his serious ordeal in the pool just 13 days ago on June 4. Off duty lifeguard Emily Hopkins had a broken arm and just happened to be at the pool babysitting someone else when she noticed Sanchez face down in the water. The County news release at the time stated that the child was pulled from the pool non-responsive and lifeguards began immediate rescue efforts while fire ambulance crews and police were dispatched to the scene.
Upon arrival, Los Alamos Fire Department teams took over resuscitation efforts and transported the child to Los Alamos Medical Center for treatment. Life Flight was then dispatched and arrived at LAMC at approximately noon. The parents were with the child at the hospital and were part of the Life Flight to Albuquerque.
“This child’s recovery is because of the entire community’s efforts and I want to thank everyone … the citizens at the pool, the lifeguards, the firefighters and police, the medical personnel and the family, all the prayers … it took everyone working together to make this happen,” Fire Chief Troy Hughes said.
Grider also thanked the emergency dispatchers, explaining that it is a rare occasion when dispatchers find out what happened after a difficult call or when firefighters get the chance to meet with the individuals that they have saved.
“We don’t often get the closure on those types of calls and get a full circle return like today … to have them walk in and say thanks … there’s just nothing more we could ask for,” Grider said.