A Santa Clarita Valley Station sheriff’s deputy is credited with helping to save a toddler’s life after she nearly drowned earlier this month at a Castaic pool, authorities said on Friday.
The 2-year-old girl had gone with her parents and 4-year-old brother to a joint birthday for two relatives that was held on Aug. 1 at the Stonegate Community Pool, which is located in the 31800 block of Diamond Lane, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Later in the evening, as the party moved away from the pool and on to other activities, the little girl quietly slipped away without anyone noticing, sheriff’s officials said in the release.
A short time later, the girl’s father — who had stepped inside the building for a few minutes to get his son some food — heard people frantically yelling “that there was a kid in the pool,” the release stated.
The father immediately ran outside and found his daughter’s lifeless body in the pool.
He raced to the locked, gated pool, quickly scaled the 10-foot black iron fence and retrieved the toddler from the water.
Soon after, deputies Christine Shaffer and Jason Goedecke arrived at the scene and found the child lying on the cement sidewalk. Shaffer immediately began rendering aid to the young girl while Goedecke flagged down the fire department, according to the release.
Deputies from the Sheriff’s Department Park Bureau arrived a short time later and assisted Shaffer in giving the little girl rescue breaths until she was conscious and breathing. She was then airlifted to a hospital.
The unidentified 2-year-old girl was released from the hospital and has since fully recovered, according to the release.
A Los Angeles Fire Department captain credited Shaffer with helping to save the girl’s life.
If she “had not gotten to the scene as quick as she did and began treatment, we would probably be looking at a different outcome,” LAFD Capt. Long stated in the release.
Shaffer was also commended by Santa Clarita Valley Station Training Officer Deputy Jeffrey Britoat. “That child couldn’t have been in better hands,” he said.
The family has also expressed gratitude to Shaffer, and a relative said they were now looking to take CPR classes.
“We realize the importance of them now because you never know when you’re going to need to use it,” the girl’s uncle said, according to the release.