A Flagler County Sheriff’s Communications Specialist is credited with saving the life of a three-year-old child who nearly drowned in her grandmother’s Palm Coast pool Saturday afternoon.
Communications Specialist Genice Caccavale answered the emergency line when the child’s grandmother, Alicia Fennell, called in to frantically report that her granddaughter had fallen into the pool at a home on Zollinger Place. The child had been pulled from the pool, but was not responsive and was not breathing.
Caccavale instructed the grandmother on administering cardio pulmonary resuscitation and by the time Flagler County Emergency Services medical personnel arrived on scene, the child was breathing.
The grandmother told deputies that around 6:15 p.m., she had left the child unattended for a few seconds to answer the telephone. With her gone, the child jumped into the pool. Another child who was poolside jumped in and picked up the toddler who was estimated to have been underwater for about 10 seconds, according to the grandmother.
The child was transported to Florida Hospital Flagler and then transferred to Wolfson’s Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville. She was released from the hospital Sunday morning and is reported to be in excellent condition by her grandmother.
“This could have been a tragic incident, but due to the professional training of our dispatcher, a life was saved this weekend,” said Flagler County Sheriff James L. Manfre. “The child’s grandmother has expressed her appreciation. She told deputies that if it had not been for the dispatcher who answered the call, she would not have been able to save her granddaughter.”
Caccavale has been with the Sheriff’s Office’s Communications Division since 2002.