Bel Air child saved from drowning by parents, revived by alert sheriff's deputy

A 2-year-old child was saved from drowning Saturday evening after being rescued from a Bel Air-area pool by his parents and then being revived after quick thinking on the part of a sheriff's deputy, police said.

Harford County Sheriff's Office deputies and local EMS workers responded to a home in the 800 block of Litchfield Circle at 7:20 p.m., Edward Hopkins, public information officer for the Sheriff's Office, said Monday afternoon.

Deputy 1st Class James Amrein went to the swimming pool behind the house and saw the boy's mother performing CPR on him.

The mother said a "family gathering" was taking place and her son was on the pool deck with other children. She said she and her husband went inside "for several seconds," and found the boy in the water when they came back out, according to an e-mail from Hopkins.

The parents got the child out of the water and then contacted 911 and started performing CPR on him, Hopkins said.

The boy had a pulse but was not breathing upon Amrein's arrival, at which time the deputy inspected the victim's airway and found vomit blocking it, Hopkins said.

The deputy put the child on his side and cleared the vomit from his airway, Hopkins continued. The boy began breathing shallowly and was transferred to Abingdon Volunteer Fire Company personnel.

They took the child to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air and he was later taken to the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.

"Families need to be aware that emergency situations can occur in any environment, and they should take every initiative to learn first aid, CPR, life-saving skills," Hopkins said.

Hopkins praised family members for their actions, including immediately alerting 911, performing CPR and having someone in front of the house to meet first responders.

"All those steps have to be in place," he said. "That's what made this successful."

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