Lifeguard risks life to save Tech student - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/8/09

Lifeguard risks life to save Tech student

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Thanks to years of lifeguard training, one Texas Tech student risked her own life to save another's. Texas Tech student Sarah Martin, 25, has been a lifeguard for six years, and has worked at Tech for the past two.

Martin never had to really use those skills, until this past summer. "I had pulled a little kid out of the pool before when he was struggling, but this was my first real rescue. It was pretty intense," she said.  

It was during student orientation when Martin was on duty. She kept warning a group of boys to stop doing back flips off the diving board. That's when Martin said Texas Tech student Joshua Toth jumped off the diving board too soon and hit the back of his head on the way down.

"My immediate reaction was I need to get in there. It just didn't look good," said Martin.  Toth had been knocked unconscious and began to sink 12 feet below the surface. As Toth was under water his body took over and began to breathe on its own causing him to convulse. "To feel him and to see him do that puts reality into things and makes you see the seriousness of it," said Martin.

Without hesitation Martin dove in and quickly pulled up Toth's convulsing body, as he fought her the whole way up. Once above the surface four other lifeguards on duty helped hoist Toth up and strap him to a medical backboard until EMS arrived.

"I'm honestly proud I did as well as I did and I did my job correctly and that we got him out as soon as possible. I'm just really glad to see he was ok and he had no permanent injuries," said Martin.

Thanks to quick thinking and years of lifeguard training, Martin saved Toth's life that day. For doing so, Martin will be recognized as a hero during the Red Cross Champion's Breakfast this Friday. When asked what she thought about the award, Martin simply said, "I was just doing my job."

The Champions Breakfast will be held at the Overton Hotel and Converence Center starting at 7:30am. A community celebration, the American Red Cross Champions honors local heroes for using their First Aid, CPR, AED training and other actions to save lives.

Tickets are available through September 8th, (click here) to purchase tickets and for more information. 

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