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Off-duty firefighter saves drowning child in Lehi

By Andrew Wittenberg | Posted - Jun 28th, 2013 @ 10:20pm


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LEHI — Hillary Horman had only been at the Cranberry Farms pool a few minutes before her life changed forever. She was looking forward to a fun-filled day with her sisters and her kids. But then "somebody yelled there was a drowning and I just — screaming began."

It was her 3-year-old son Jude. She panicked, thinking her son had died. In the next few horrifying minutes, she grabbed her son out of the water. His skin was gray and he wasn't breathing.

On any other day, at practically any other time, there are no lifeguards on duty at this particular pool. Except, on this day, there was a life guard — off-duty firefighter Jake Beck.

"Here I was, by myself, no gear, nobody else to back me up," he said.

Beck is a captain with the Lehi Fire Department, and has 14 years of emergency services experience. He's friends with the Hormans, and just so happened to be sitting at his neighborhood pool on his day off.

He heard the screams from across the pool. "As I was going to jump in the pool, I was handed Jude Horman, a three-year-old and he was unresponsive."

Beck wasn't just a family friend — at that moment he was Jude's only hope.

"I'm a firefigher 24/7," he said. "Whether I'm in uniform, or I'm in swimming shorts. And the expectations are the same. As she watch the events unfold, Jude's mother "was just in my own personal hell," she said. Beck had his doubts as to whether the boy would survive as well.

I'll be completely honest: When I (saw) Jude's color and (saw) how he was reacting, I didn't think the outcome was going to be positive, and it did go through my mind that this was going to be bad," he said.

But after a few minutes, Jude came back. Beck said he picked him up and hit him on the back a few times before he started spitting up water. He was taken to the hospital, but by that night was watching Shrek and back to normal.

It was a close call, but Jack, Hillary and Jude aren't speculating just yet on fate. They are simply glad Beck was at the right place, at the right time. "There's no way to thank somebody for saving your son's life," Horman said.

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