NOLENSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Williamson County officials are praising a 17-year-old lifeguard after saving an 8-year-old from drowning. 

It all happened at the Williamson County Recreation Complex pool on Tuesday evening. The 17-year-old did not want to be identified, but assistant manager Riley Stahl recalls rushing in to help. 

“He wasn’t responsive when he was first pulled out of the water, but we got CPR going and rescue breaths. And he spit up some water and was good once EMS got there,” Stahl said.  

Stahl credits their training for saving the 8-year-old’s life.  

“I’ve done CPR before, never on a kid though, that’s scary. But it was just pure instinct, going back to the training, it’s ingrained into me now. I didn’t really have to think, I just did it,” Stahl said.  

On Wednesday, county officials planned on reaching out to the 17-year-old lifeguard and his parents to thank him for his service.  

“This young man won’t even realize, the young man he saved won’t realize what someone just did for him. But he saved his life,” said Gordon Hampton, Director, Williamson County Parks and Recreation. 

Aquatics Superintendent Evan Hampton credited Williamson County’s training program for preparing the lifeguard.  

“He did everything the way it was supposed to be done. I’m extremely proud of him, he’s a young guy, soon going to be a man and this will boost you right into that manhood really quick,” said Evan Hampton. “Once they’re underwater seconds count. You have to respond as quickly as possible and when you’re well trained it breaks down that time and you can get things done much quicker when it’s automatic.” 

Stahl said she won’t forget her last exchange with the little boy who had such a close call. 

“He was awake and talking before the ambulance even pulled out. He was showing me how to use a fidget spinner and complaining about the colors of the toys EMS gave him,” Stahl said. “Just seeing that, there’s no other feeling. I don’t have the words for the relief, it was insane.” 

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The Williamson County Parks and Recreation Department is currently hiring lifeguards. They encourage teens looking for a rewarding and fulfilling summer job to apply.


UPDATE: Since the publication of this article, News 2 was contacted by a patron who told the news department she initially pulled the 8-year-old out of the pool and her wife began compressions and lifeguards took over CPR. Williamson County Parks and Recreation Department Director Gordon Hampton agreed with this line of events after News 2 circled back for clarification.