ROBERTSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Two teenage girls nearly drowned Sunday afternoon when one of them fell into a dam near the Robertson County Fairgrounds and the other one jumped in to save her.
According to Robertson County EMS Director Brent Dyer, a call came in shortly before 1:45 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 8 about a water emergency along the Springfield Greenway close to Memorial Boulevard.
Dyer said the two girls — ages 16 and 17 — were out walking and spotted a soccer ball floating near the low level dam, but when the 17-year-old reached for the ball, she slipped, fell into the water, and got caught under the dam’s waterfall.
The 16-year-old jumped into the water to help her friend, who was reportedly under for two to three minutes.
Even though the 16-year-old tried to keep the girl’s head up and make it to the bank of the creek, the Robertson County EMS director told News 2 the 17-year-old lost consciousness and slipped away again.
According to Dyer, bystanders who were out walking a dog came to the girls’ aid, using the dog’s leash to help pull the 16-year-old to safety. Meanwhile, a motorist saw what was happening, stopped their car, and helped rescue the 17-year-old as the Springfield Fire Department arrived at the scene.
With the assistance from these “citizen heroes,” Dyer said the girl was moved to bank, where EMS took over CPR from the members of the fire department.
The 16-year-old was reportedly cold, but she was alright. As for the 17-year-old, she received advanced cardiac life support, she was intubated, and she was resuscitated to get a pulse back, but she stayed unconscious.
The Robertson County EMS director said both girls were brought to TriStar NorthCrest Medical Center in Springfield via ambulance. However, after ER personnel further stabilized the 17-year-old, she was flown to Centennial Children’s Hospital in Nashville.
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“We are hopeful that the cold water may have induced ‘therapeutic hypothermia’ which has been known to aid neurologically in post cardiac arrest patients. Cold water submersion injuries are more likely to survive following cardiac arrest compared to warmer water emergencies,” Dyer stated. “Our prayers go out to the young lady and her parents, we are incredible proud and thankful for the citizen rescuers who acted so quickly to help.”