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Woman helps save life with training from Girl Scouts

Wednesday, May 19, 2010   (0 Comments)
Posted by: jennifer punch
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Once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout. A former Lindsey woman mustered up the emergency life-saving techniques she learned as a Girl Scout years earlier to save the life of a preschool-age child May 2.

Meranda Knieriem lives in an apartment complex in Orlando, Fla. On that sunny Sunday afternoon, she was relaxing at the pool with two friends. Also at the pool that day was a mother and her young daughter.

It was a typical day, 88 degrees with plenty of Florida sunshine for sunbathers and swimmers. The mother of the little girl left the pool, leaving her daughter to play on the steps. Then things went terribly wrong.

In an instant, the day became almost deadly for the little girl. Knieriem heard the mother scream, and saw the little girl going under the water. She grabbed her cell phone and ran to the opposite end of the pool, where the frantic mother cradled her limp and blue-faced baby girl as she exited the pool from the very stairs she had left her daughter moments before.

The mother cried to Knieriem that she did not know what to do. Knieriem remembered the emergency first aid and CPR training from her Girl Scout days, arranged through the American Heart Association for Babysitters. She quickly dialed 9-1-1 as she told the mother to perform CPR. The mother said she didn't know how.

Knieriem dropped the cell phone, shouted to her friends to help and then began to prepare the little victim for rescue breaths. After positioning her head, she pinched the little girl's nose and prepared to do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. As she pinched her nose, the little girl coughed, vomited and began to cry.

Knieriem picked up her phone, dialed 9-1-1 and remained with the girl until the rescue squad arrived to find the child alert and breathing. If not for her previous training -- and the importance her Scout leader Liz Shreffler placed on that training -- the day at that pool may have ended much differently. Knieriem was the only adult out of six present that day who knew what to do to save the child.

Knieriem is the daughter of very proud parents, Greg and Rona Knieriem of Lindsey. Her ability to remain calm and composed and have the presence of mind to know what to do in that terrifying situation is a credit to the 22-year-old and the training she received.

When Rona Knieriem called Girl Scout leader Liz Shreffler to thank her for providing this training to her daughter, Shreffler was not home to take the initial call. Shreffler was at a meeting where she was being recognized for her 15 years of volunteering as a Girl Scout leader.

One small little girl in Florida is safe and sound with her mommy now, giving a shining example of the value of Girl Scouts, American Heart Association training programs and all the people who volunteer their time to provide vital services for youths.

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