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'I instantly jumped into action' | 18-year-old lifeguard rescues boy from drowning at Roosevelt Pool

Milyon Campbell says her training and thinking of her sister who also loves to swim helped her instantly spring into action to save the boy in a central Toledo pool.

TOLEDO, Ohio — In a heroic act, a Toledo lifeguard jumped into action to save a 13-year-old boy from drowning. 

It happened on opening day at the Roosevelt Pool on Dorr Street Tuesday.

"They pushed him and I thought he was playing. Like he did a little [splashing] but he was still above. So then, he just sunk down and put his arm up. So I'm like, 'oh he needs help!'" recalled Milyon Campbell. "I instantly jumped into action."

The 18-year-old lifeguard says it made her think of her little sister, who also loves the water. 

"I just instantly thought, oh my gosh, this little boy that I just gotta, I gotta help him. I gotta make sure he's able to go back home to his parents. This is gonna be something we both are gonna be able to, yeah, we're gonna get through it," said Campbell.

It was a scary moment that could have ended tragically, but Dawn Cousino, the Recreation and Youth supervisor with the City of Toledo, says lifeguards like Campbell are trained for this. 

"I'm very proud of the staff here at Roosevelt. They did just go through their recertification last week and so it was all fresh in their minds and I'm very proud that they acted appropriately. That they jumped into action. That they knew exactly what to do," said Cousino.

"Opening day, and instantly it was just the shock that we had just opened the deep-end. And just, it just happened so quickly. It was shocking," said Campbell. "But I'm happy I had the right things. I knew what to do."  

"The water is a very fierce body," said Cousino. 

She says this serves as a reminder this story could have ended much differently. 

But she knows while there's more fun in the sun to come, employees like Campbell will be there, keeping a close eye on the water and if needed, ready to jump in and save a life. 

This summer, the City of Toledo will be offering free swimming lessons at all of its pools. 

Starting in July, kids ages 3 and older can go every Tuesday and Thursday. 

You can register here on their website.

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