(WGN-AM)- For paramedic Steven Dorich, it was an eventful first day on the job.
About 3:30 p.m., Dorich and his colleagues with Chicago Fire Department Engine Co. 101 received an urgent call: a 7-year-old boy was unresponsive after spending as long as 7 minutes underwater at a public pool in Chicago's West Englewood neighborhood.
advanced life support needed to revive the boy.
Minutes after being pulled from the pool showing no signs of breathing, the boy was alert and talking as Dorich and his partners transported him to Holy Cross Hospital.
"I expected it to be busy, but I didn't expect this," Dorich said later Thursday night from the fire station. "I'm just glad the kid's all right."
June Eastman, another paramedic at the scene, said that the largest share of credit should go to the four Chicago Park District lifeguards who discovered the boy underwater and gave him immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
"There are so many times we get there and nobody is doing anything," said Eastman, a 21-year veteran who said she has a 7-year-old herself at home. "They did [CPR] and they did it well."
The six paramedics and firefighters who arrived on the scene were able to take over the resuscitation process from the lifeguards, clearing the boy's airway and monitoring his heart rate and blood oxygen levels.
Thursday night, they said he was recovering at Holy Cross Hospital and already asking his parents if he could return to his home.
"He's a fortunate young man," Eastman said. "His life is saved, and that's wonderful."
Dorich, meanwhile, was suffering the good-natured ribbing of his more experienced co-workers, who presented him with an impromptu award and surprised him with the classic shaving cream pie in the face in front of reporters. Dorich said he felt good about his first life-saving experience, but hoped not to see another child so close to death for a long time.
"No sir, no more of these calls," he said.
(The Chicago Tribune contributed to this story)
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