MADISON COUNTY, ILL. - Just one day after jumping into an Illinois lake, not knowing they would find, the two paramedics shared the details of saving a baby's life Friday afternoon.
Both 'miraculous' and 'not surprising': That's how lots of people in Highland, Ill. described the rescue of a 3-month-old toddler.
'Miraculous', because paramedics said so many circumstances had to fall in line for this rescue to be successful. 'Not surprising', because when Highland residents figured out paramedic Todd Zobrist was the one who went into the water.
"Looked like two feet and two hands. And at first, I just thought it was a doll of some sort. A kids toy. So, I reached back as far as I could, and it was a pretty far reach for me, and I was able to grab a foot and pull it across the water to me," said Zobrist. "[I] ended up finding out pretty quickly that, hey, this is an infant baby."
When Zobrist first went into the 45-degree water for about a 75-foot swim to the drowned car, he said he didn't know if anyone was inside the car or not. He had no way of breaking any windows, but fortunately, the drivers side window was already broken.
That was when Zobrist stuck his head inside the car and found the baby not breathing. He moved the child to the roof of the car and began CPR.
Then, said paramedic partner Ty Barr - who was coordinating more help from the shore - firefighters arrived on scene and their cold water gear and boat were delayed, stuck at a railroad crossing.
Zobrist, 31, with two kids of his own, said he is a distance runner, but doesn't swim much. Still, he was able to make the 75-foot swim in the cold, with the baby, back to the shore and hand the child off to Barr and a Highland police officer on the scene.
The 3-month-old was transported to a St. Louis hospital and is said to be doing fine.
Watch the full press conference below:
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