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April 1, 2014

Crews rescue baby when stroller rolls into pond

By Hannah Poturalski and Eric Schwartzberg

HAMILTON, Ohio — A 9-month-old girl was rushed via helicopter to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center after rescue divers pulled her from a retention pond Monday afternoon.

Crews were dispatched around 1:55 p.m. to the 8400 block of Windy Harbor Way in the Villages of Providence subdivision for reports of a possible drowning.

The baby’s grandmother was walking the infant in a stroller along a bike path with a young girl when the stroller somehow rolled down an embankment and into the pond, said Barb Wilson, township spokeswoman.

Crews responded to the scene by 2:03 p.m. and launched a water rescue to find the child.

Around 2:23 p.m., rescue crews found the child in the water still strapped to the stroller about six feet from the edge of the water and performed CPR and rescue breathing before taking her by ambulance to Cincinnati Children’s Liberty Campus, said Mike Mays, assistant fire chief in West Chester.

Mays said the child was under water about 30 minutes before she was located.

Initial requests for a medical helicopter to land at nearby Endeavor Elementary School on Smith Road were rerouted to meet the ambulance at Cincinnati Children’s Liberty Campus. The child was then flown to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati.

There was no immediate word on her condition.

Mays told WCPO-TV, the Journal-News’ media partner, that officials have hope the infant will survive because of the way the human body reacts to cold water.

The reaction, known as the mammalian diving reflex, delays brain damage during prolonged periods in cold water.

“With cold water there’s always hope.” Mays said.

The retention pond has a winding bicycle and walking path along side it.

Narmatha Suresh, whose house is next to the retention pond, said she was home from work due to spring break and heard screaming outside her window. Suresh said when she came outside she saw a grandmother crying and the young girl, who looked to be about 10 years old, swimming back to shore.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
“I thought they needed help for her … so I took a stick to go help her out,” she said. “I had to run back to my house to call the cops right away because I don’t know how to swim. Then I went back and was looking for the baby, but I didn’t see any sign of the baby.”