Bystanders help save girl from near-drowning in Edgerton

EDGERTON (WKOW) – Two bystanders are being credited with helping to save a seven year old girl from a near-drowning at a beach by an Edgerton Lake.

Authorities say the child from Lisle, Illinois was taken from the beach on Rice Lake at the Hickory Hills Campground Saturday first by ambulance, and then by MedFlight helicopter to UW Hospital. 

Campground owner Rich Poff says someone carried the girl from the lake’s waters, calling for help.  Poff says two of his long-term campers were nearby.

"They, along with one of the child’s family members, jumped in and was on the phone with 911 and started CPR,"  Poff says.

"It was so important that people on scene actually started life-saving efforts to try to give this young girl a fighting chance…to survive,"  says Edgerton Fire Chief Randy Pickering. 

Pickering also says the special training of Dane County dispatchers helped, as a dispatcher relayed the emergency response steps and techniques to the responding bystanders, who had no, apparent rescue response experience.

After trained personnel from fire departments and other agencies took over, Poff says the enormity of the situation hit the helping bystanders.

"They were very emotional, not knowing the condition of the child,"  Poff says.

A member of the campground staff says the girl was responsive Monday.

Dane County Sheriff’s spokesperson Elise Schaffer says the circumstances of the child’s emergency in the water remain under investigation.  The beach in question also features a pier, and boat rentals.

Poff says he spent more than a decade as a volunteer firefighter and knows the value of people in the community having basic, rescue response training.  He hopes the experience of his campers in responding to the child’s distress will motivate others to consider taking a CPR course.

"Because of their quick actions, that’s why she’s alive yet," Poff says.

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