Local Recognized by Red Cross

11/2/22

Karin Romero, the Aquatics Coordinator at the Community Recreation Center, was recently awarded the National Lifesaving Award by the Red Cross, one of the highest awards from the organization. The award recognized Romero’s lifesaving work when a 5-year-old boy was drowning at the Recreation Center pool this summer. By Hannah Robertson. This story is sponsored by 2180 Lighting and Design Studio and Pop’s Truck and RV Center

Summertime is one of the busiest times of the year for the aquatics area at the Community Recreation Center. Karin Romero, the Aquatics Coordinator, was teaching a lesson during one of the many busy days, when she was part of a rescue of a 5-year-old boy, where she saved his life by performing CPR. To recognize her for her actions, the Red Cross awarded Romero with a National Lifesaving Award this fall. You're watching the Local News Network, brought to you by 2180 Lighting and Design and Pop's Truck and RV Center. I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

I'm here this evening to present a Lifesaving Award from the American Red Cross to Karin Romero. On July 29th, Karin was teaching a swim lesson in our leisure pool at the Recreation Center when she witnessed a lifeguard pull a limp, unconscious, and unresponsive 5-year-old boy from the water. She jumped into action quickly assessing his airway, breathing, and pulse. Karin then started to administer CPR. After two breaths and approximately 20 compressions, the young boy started expelling water and slowly regained consciousness. PMS arrived and transported him to the hospital where he made a full recovery. Without question, Karin used her skills to save the life of this young boy. For this act, the American Red Cross is awarding her a Lifesaving Award. This is the highest award given by the American Red Cross to an individual who serves or sustains a life by using skills and knowledge learnt from a Red Cross training course.

Drowning is one of the most preventable causes of death, especially in children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are an estimated 3,960 fatal drownings every year - an average of eleven a day. Fatal drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury in children ages one to fourteen after car crashes. Thanks to Romero's quick actions and training, the young boy who was drowning that day lived through the experience.

For me, it's an honor to receive something like this. It was a very scary moment of my life that I didn't know exactly how I would react or, you know, if I would be the right person in that situation. And most of my job is training all the lifeguards and teaching them how to do these skills and what to do if they end up in a situation like this. And I would say that being put in the actual situation is not only going to make me a better lifeguard but also a better trainer, and to training all my staff on how to do things like this I've actually been in the situation and it was really scary. And I think that for me, this award is just showing that what I do for a living can really change someone's life and save a life.

Romero has been a lifeguard for several years, and is a lifeguard instructor at the Community Recreation Center, which is a Red Cross-affiliated facility. That accreditation means that the lifeguards at the facility have been trained in life-saving techniques according to the Red Cross programs. Romero credits her knowledge to her training and the work she's done as part of the pool facility.

All my training and hard work from right here, my leader, Kim, who's taught me what I know with training and CPR and teaching and training all of our staff has really helped me. And being put in the moment, I wasn't sure how I would react. And having had that experience, I think it changed the perspective of how important my job is and the role that I play within our city.

Romero was nominated for the award by Aquatics Operations Supervisor Kim Ebner for her actions in saving the 5-year-old boy. She plans to use her experience to help with training current and future lifeguards at the facility to ensure the continuation of professionalism and care at the Community Recreation Facility, especially after it reopens following a three-week closure for cleaning, maintenance, and improvements. The updated aquatics area includes new slides and water features in the leisure pool, and re-surfaced lap pool. To learn more about the American Red Cross and training programs, visit RedCross.org. For more information about the Community Recreation Center, visit DurangoGov.org and search "Recreation Center". Thank you for watching this edition of the Local News Network, I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

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