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Schoolgirl hero who rescued unconscious dad from pool praised by fire service staff

Rescue mission: The Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service Community Heroism Award is given to the Oduntan family (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

A nine-year-old girl was yesterday hailed a hero after she rescued her drowning father from a swimming pool.

Zoe Oduntan was swimming in the pool with her father, Richard and brother, Eli, when Mr Oduntan got into difficulties and sank to the bottom.

The schoolgirl swam down to her father and tried to revive him but resurfaced and ran to get her mother after she failed to bring him round.

The two ran back to the pool and Zoe dived in for a second rescue attempt – and was able to drag her father up to the surface by his shirt.

Now her cool head and courage have won her and her family a Community Heroism Award from the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service, which responded to the incident.

But brave Zoe played down her heroic efforts to rescue her dad.

She said her superheroes were the doctors and nurses who saved her father’s life.

Zoe added: “I’m happy to report that my dad is alive and well today.”

The presentation ceremony heard emergency services gave Mr Oduntan CPR after they were unable to detect a pulse.

One firefighter said Zoe’s efforts – backed up by the emergency services – had saved her father’s life.

BFRS Sergeant Justin Robinson said an ambulance crew was able to revive Mr Oduntan on the way to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.

Sergeant Robinson said emergency services staff were often called on to perform in high-stress situations, where their training was tested.

But he added: “Sometimes it is the people in the community who are heroic when faced with challenging situations.

“This is a perfect example of an extraordinary situation that relied on the family’s actions and commitment and all the BFRS and KEMH staff involved.

“Major credit must be given to this family for their immediate, life-saving efforts.

“The Oduntan family rallied together in Mr Oduntan’s greatest time of need.

“This is overall an amazing, heart-warming story that the community should be inspired by.”

The incident happened at the end of September.

Sergeant Robinson said in his citation: “At approximately 6.25pm the ambulance arrived with EMTs Dalton Stovell and Ronnie Aguire, who swiftly transferred Mr Oduntan on to a stretcher and into the ambulance.

“Life-saving interventions were continued, with firefighter Amani Wears going in the ambulance to assist.

“Just prior to their arrival at KEMH, they advised that they had got a pulse back and were doing rescue breathing.”

Mr Oduntan was later treated in the hospital’s intensive care unit and made a full recovery.

Sergeant Robinson said: “The family believes that Mr Oduntan was under water and not breathing for approximately four to six minutes.

“Mrs Oduntan said that she did not know how to do CPR, but started doing something.

“They called 911 and, with the guidance from medical dispatchers, Ms Oduntan did bystander CPR for approximately 12 minutes prior to our arrival.”

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Published December 09, 2021 at 9:14 pm (Updated December 09, 2021 at 9:14 pm)

Schoolgirl hero who rescued unconscious dad from pool praised by fire service staff

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