MORGAN PARK — A 13-year-old girl was saved from drowning Thursday afternoon by lifeguards, ambulance personnel and fellow swimmers at Kennedy Park.
David Murray said his beach bag was packed and he was just leaving the pool at 11320 S. Western Ave. when someone called his attention to a body underwater.
Murray said he dove into the deep end of the pool along with lifeguards and pulled the girl to the surface. From there, the lifeguards and a nurse who happened to be swimming at the pool worked to resuscitate the girl.
"She was lifeless laying at the bottom of the pool," Murray said Thursday evening.
After removing her from the southeast corner of the pool, the group used a device designed to push air into the girl's body. Murray said his job was to wipe away the fluids that were coming out of her mouth and nose.
An ambulance dispatched from Mount Greenwood arrived within about three minutes of a call being placed, said Murray, who added the girl gasped for air just as they arrived.
Jessica Maxey-Faulkner, a Chicago Park District spokeswoman, confirmed Friday morning that "lifeguards at Kennedy Park pulled an unresponsive patron from the pool" and worked to ventilate the swimmer until paramedics arrived.
Murray visited the firehouse at 3112 W. 111th St. after the incident to check in with the paramedics, who told him that the girl is expected to recover.
"Everybody did exactly what they were supposed to do, and that's why she is alive," he said.
Murray also said his fiance was speaking to the girl's mother earlier in the day. Both were paying attention to what was going on in and around the pool as were the lifeguards.
"It was strange. She was just in this corner," Murray said. "It was just a freak placement and a freak thing."
A Chicago Police Department spokesman confirmed that officers arrived on the scene for a call seeking emergency medical assistance. Chicago Fire Department officials did not respond to requests for comment.