Left, Smithfield Mayor W. Daniel Evens Jr., recently presented Jacob Lawhon, Lyn Andrews, Aquatics Supervisor and Robert Childrey with the Red Cross Lifesaving for the Professional Responder Team Award at the Town of Smithfield Town Council Meeting Sept. 4. Tim Johnson, Parks and Recreation Director, also attended the award ceremony.
American Red Cross Honors Local Heroes
Smithfield Lifeguards Saved Drowning Child
The American Red Cross honored two employees of the Smithfield Recreation and Aquatics Center for saving the life of a seven-year-old drowning victim earlier this summer. Jacob Lawhon, 17, and Robert Childrey, 50 received the Red Cross Lifesaving for the Professional Responder Team Award at the Town of Smithfield Town Council Meeting Sept. 4.
On July 6 Lawhon was on lifeguard duty at the Aquatics Center when he noticed a child at the bottom of the pool. Lawhon pulled the child from the nine-foot area of the pool. Lawhon and Childrey determined the child wasn’t breathing and had no pulse. They administered CPR until paramedics arrived from Johnston County Emergency Services to take over CPR. According to the paramedics, the child was alert upon leaving the Aquatics Center for Johnston Memorial Hospital and they credit the actions of Lawhon and Childrey for saving the child’s life.
The Red Cross Lifesaving Award for the Professional Responder recognizes professional responders who save or sustain a life while on duty and have successfully completed an American Red Cross course in First Aid, CPR, AED or aquatics. Lawhon and Childrey both earned their current certification for Red Cross CPR-AED for Lifeguards in 2011.
Lawhon and Childrey each receive dcertificate signed by Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern and Board of Governors Chairman Bonnie McElveen Hunter. Smithfield Mayor W. Daniel Evens Jr. will present a proclamation honoring Lawhon and the Smithfield Recreation and Aquatics Center staff.
Every day, approximately ten people in the U.S. die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children ages 1 to 14 years. This life-threatening risk can be lessened by learning basic swimming skills and knowledge about safety in and around water.