Lifeguards to be honored for saving drowning child

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LAYTON -- A group of Layton lifeguards will soon be recognized for saving the life an 8-year-old Washington girl. One is being singled out for a special honor that's never been bestowed upon a citizen in the city before.

On Aug. 20, Surf-N-Swim lifeguard Matt Munns noticed a girl in the pool floating on her back.

"She rolled over on her stomach and sunk to the bottom of the pool," Munns said. "I knew a little 8-year-old couldn't hold her breath that long."

He blew his whistle to alert the other lifeguards then jumped in and pulled the girl out of the water. She wasn't breathing and didn't have a pulse.

Lifeguards Aubrianna Schaefermeyer, Ken Bunderson, Scott Gall and Shaye Derryberry performed CPR along with Munns until emergency workers arrived.

"I was very impressed with the calm demeanor of all the lifeguards. They were the consummate professionals at what they were doing," said Layton Fire Chief Kevin Ward.

The little girl was flown to Primary Children's Medical Center where she made a full recovery and returned to her home state. Matt spoke with her shortly after when her family called to thank him.

"It was fun to talk to her, put a voice to the face," he said.

On Thursday, Munns will receive a Distinguished Service Medal from the Layton City Council on behalf of the Layton City Parks Department and the fire department.

"It's basically the highest award we can give a civilian," Ward said.

The other lifeguards will receive unit citations for their lifesaving work. Munns says they deserved just as much credit as he does.

"It really was a team effort. I might have been the one who jumped in and figured out the problem, but past that point there were four other lifeguards I worked with," he said.

Munns says the incident has helped him become a better lifeguard; he's now more confident about his lifesaving abilities.


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