Centerville Family Meets First Responders Who Saved Their Son From Drowning

News

CENTERVILLE (ABC4 Utah News) – A Tuesday night gathering here was much more than just a regular picnic in the park.

For Chris and Annie Ross, it was their way to express appreciation to the men and women who saved their son Coleman from drowning at a community pool on July 12th.

The dispatch call came minutes after Coleman took off his life jacket, jumped into the pool and sank to the bottom.

Utah Highway Patrol Sergeant Chamberlin Neff was driving home after his shift.

“I was at the right place at the right time,” Sgt. Neff said. “I was literally around the corner. It took me about…I believe the time was 35 seconds to arrive once I got the call.”

Coleman had been under water for several minutes before some nearby women pulled his seemingly lifeless body up and started CPR. Sergeant Neff, Centerville Police and South Davis Metro Fire personnel were able to get him breathing again. Doctors at Primary Children’s Hospital declared him to be perfectly healthy.

“He said Mom you can’t breathe when you’re underwater so he does remember that happening,” Annie Ross said. “He knows that he rode in an ambulance because that was a big hit for him and he knows the names of a lot of the people who were there that helped him.”

Coleman’s mother says that those first responders are the reason her son is here today. On Tuesday night she had the opportunity to meet them and say thanks.

“I feel like thank you is so insufficient. How do you say thank you for saving your son’s life?” Annie asked. “We’re just thankful for them every day. Every time we see Coleman when we see the active, happy life that he’s able to continue to lead it’s because of these people that were there.”

Sgt. Neff says he sometime thinks about the “what ifs”.

“If you don’t show up in time, Coleman could possibly not be here and you’re right, we could be attending a funeral. When you put it point blank like that…ummm,” Sgt. Neff said, pausing to compose himself. “We’re just glad it didn’t have the what ifs. We were there. We were able to respond. It was successful. Not every time it’s successful but we’re able to aid when the time was needed and we did it that day.”

Coleman said his favorite part of the picnic was getting to see firefighters and a real life fire truck.

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