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Prompt action by California visitors saves girl, 3, from drowning

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 1:37 a.m. HST, Aug 18, 2013

Quick action by two visitors helped a 3-year-old girl survive a near-drowning incident at a hotel pool in Kaanapali Saturday.

According to a Maui Fire Department report, a bystander noticed the girl floating on the surface of the Honua Kai Resort pool and called for help. Registered nurse Thomas Gallegos and his brother-in-law Mike Westbrook, a firefighter-paramedic, responded quickly to reach the child, provide rescue breaths, and carry the child to the pool deck, where she was provided oxygen via hotel equipment until Maui fire rescue personnel and paramedics arrived.

The child was transported to Maui Memorial Medical Center in stable condition.

Fire officials praised the actions of Gallegos and Westbrook, who are visiting from Ventura, Calif.

“As first responders/rescuers, Mr. Gallegos and Mr. Westbrook set in motion the precise actions and treatment the patient required at that moment to survive this incident,” said Lahaina Fire Station Ladder 3 Capt. Kevin McAfee.

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