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Geneva Wollman, 20, is a lifeguard instructor at the Mobridge Aquatic Center. She was recently honored for saving the life of a 3-year-old on July 11, 2018. Special to Forum News Service via Aberdeen American News

South Dakota lifeguard honored for girl’s rescue

MOBRIDGE, S.D. — A lifeguard at the Mobridge Aquatic Center pool recently received the Red Cross Lifesaving Award for Professional Responders — the highest honor given by the Red Cross to individuals who save or sustain a life using skills learned in a Red Cross Training Services course — for rescuing a 3-year-old girl who had been floating face down in the deep end of the pool last July.

Geneva Wollman, who was 19 at the time, was on duty when she noticed the 3-year-old girl was not just “playing dead” as kids often do in pools, she said.

Wollman dove in and brought the girl to the surface. The child was not breathing and had no pulse when she was pulled from the water. Wollman immediately began performing chest compressions, along with a volunteer EMT who was at the scene. After three or four rounds of CPR, the girl started vomiting and gasping for air. Shortly thereafter, she was taken by ambulance to a hospital.

According to an emergency room doctor, Wollman’s actions are directly responsible for the child being alive today. The 3-year-old girl recovered well, according to a news release from the American Red Cross.