Paramedic swims through 45-degree water to save baby - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Paramedic swims through 45-degree water to save baby

The paramedic says the water was so cold, it was painful, but he and his partner managed to rescue the baby and get him breathing again. (Source: KMOV/CNN) The paramedic says the water was so cold, it was painful, but he and his partner managed to rescue the baby and get him breathing again. (Source: KMOV/CNN)

HIGHLAND, IL (KMOV/CNN) – Two quick-thinking paramedics worked together to save an infant from an SUV that was quickly sinking in a lake.

Todd Zobrist and Ty Barr arrived at the lake within minutes of a call to 911 about a submerged vehicle. Zobrist volunteered to swim out to the sinking SUV in 45-degree water.

“When I got halfway there, I was thinking to myself, ‘This was a terrible decision, and I really just need to turn around and go back to the dock,’” Zobrist said.

But the paramedic continued on in spite of the cold.

When Zobrist reached the car, he didn’t see a driver but did spot an empty car seat. Then, he saw the baby.

“It looked like two feet and two hands, and at first, I thought it was just a doll, a kids’ toy of some sort. So, I reached back as far as I could… I was able to grab a foot,” Zobrist said.

The paramedic pulled the baby out, climbed on the roof of the SUV and started performing CPR.

Once the baby spit up some water, Zobrist dove back into the water and swam with one arm, holding the baby above the water with the other. He says he wanted to get back to the ambulance as soon as possible.

Zobrist says the water was so cold, it was painful, but he and Barr were able to get the baby breathing again.

The paramedics say the baby may not have made it if they hadn’t already been out of the station on another call. That call allowed them to respond to the scene so quickly.

“Unbelievable, miracle, the stars were aligned for us to be in the situation to help that baby, and the stars were aligned for that baby for that situation,” Barr said.

Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) later honored the two heroes in a speech to Congress.

Copyright 2017 KMOV via CNN. All rights reserved.

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