Paramedic who dove into frigid lake to rescue infant speaks out - KMOV.com

Paramedic who dove into frigid lake to rescue infant speaks out

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Paramedics Todd Zobrist and Ty Barr  (KMOV) Paramedics Todd Zobrist and Ty Barr (KMOV)

HIGHLAND, Ill. (KMOV.com) -- The paramedics who worked together to rescue a baby from a SUV in Silver Lake spoke out at a press conference Friday afternoon.

Early Thursday morning paramedics Todd Zobrist and Ty Barr responded to the 911 call about the submerged SUV in quick fashion.

“I just happened to be the quickest, I took my shirt and sweatshirt off took off my boots and socks,” Zobrist said. “The area I jumped into was only about 2 or 3 feet deep and I made the determination that I could swim faster than I could run out there.”

Zobrist said he made a brief sweep of the front of the vehicle first, then checked the back seat area and saw something that he said looked like a doll.

“What I saw looked like two feet and two hands and at first I thought it was just a doll or kids toy of some sort,” he said. “I reached back as far as I could and was able to grab a foot and found out pretty quickly hey this is an infant baby.”

Man found dead in house fire had been shot; woman drowned in lake

Zobrist went to the top of the vehicle above water and gave the baby CPR and the baby began spitting up some water. He made the decision to dive back into the water and swim with one arm and holding the baby above the water with the other to get back to the ambulance as soon as possible.

“For the best for the baby and for myself we needed to go,” he said.

Once Zobrist was back to the ambulance, the baby was breathing and their efforts were focused on warming the baby.

Zobrist said they were simply in the right place at the right time.

The other paramedic on the scene, Ty Barr, was working from the ambulance making the necessary calls keeping his partners safety in mind.

“My number one concern was Todd, I cared about my partner,” he said. “Once he came out with the baby my concern came to that baby.”

Barr said saving the baby was an unbelievable experience.  

“Unbelievable, miracle [are] the two words that come to mind,” he said. “It’s just something that’s in you, that drives you to help other people.”

And when EMS Chief Brian Wilson was asked if these two men are heroes after that experience, he had a very straight forward answer.

“Absolutely, there is no question about it,” he said. 

Congressman John Shimkus later honored them in a speech on the floor of Congress.

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