JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - It wasn't quite the way Joseph Giles wanted to start his new job at the Jonesboro Pool Center. The weight of a little girl's life literally in his hands after she nearly drowned a week ago Wednesday. His quick reaction has now made him a hero.
"Just kind of one of those situations where you just have to react and he did all the right things and when I came over and joined him and we continued to finish out CPR and she came back." That's how Joseph's JETS swim team coach, Jon David Williford described what happened.
Joseph is only 16 years old and has only been a lifeguard for a few short months. Already though, he's being hailed a hero for saving a little girl's life.
Joseph said he was watching the pool and noticed the girl, "...she was just havin' fun, bobbing up and down," he said.
When he looked back a second time, he said, "I thought she was just floatin', chillin' out, havin' fun," Joseph explained. "Then I turn back and noticed she hadn't moved."
That's when he jumped into action.
"Pulled her out. Her face was like, blue. Stuff was coming out of her nose, her mouth," he explained.
His quick reaction time saved that four year old girl.
"It was really all her, she just came back really quick," he said. "For some reason it didn't hit me until afterwards, like, throughout the whole thing it was kind of just like normal and then afterwards I was like, 'woah', that was...that was kind of weird."
Joseph and his JETS swim team coach, Jon David Williford, who was there when it happened want to pass along that everyone needs to be cautious while in any body of water.
"It can happen in any type depth of water, doesn't matter how good of a swimmer you are, you can suck up water and start to go under and it can happen in a second," Williford said.
Williford credits Joseph already being a strong swimmer through the JETS swim team and the extensive training he underwent to become a lifeguard in saving that little girl's life.
"They go through the lifeguard class, they go through the re-certification every couple of years and they're certified in CPR as well," Williford told Region 8 News.
However, Joseph said real life is nothing like what he trained for.
"Training I guess is just dummies. It definitely is a lot different with an actual person because there's a lot more weight of failing or not failing," he said.
Joseph said he hopes something like this never happens again, but in a way, he's glad it happened.
"I guess you could say it was a good experience that I wish I didn't have but, it was an honor though."
Joseph told Region 8 News that the little girl was taken to a local hospital after the incident.
He also credits his coworkers for their quick reaction time and comforting the little girl after her near death experience.