Lifeguard saves life at rec center

Kevin O’Reilly didn’t hesitate when he saw the little boy slip into the pool.

The Stonehenge Road resident was working as a rec center lifeguard while home on his college spring break last week. He was in the right place at the right time.

“I didn’t have to give CPR; I got there in seconds after he went in” said O’Reilly, who has made a few similar saves over at Martin Pond as a full-time lifeguard in the summer.

“It happens a couple of times every summer outside, but this was still pretty unexpected,” the lifeguard added. “I was more shaken up because I didn’t think anything could go wrong at the indoor pool, but it’s like they always say, it can happen anywhere.”

Thanks to O’Reilly’s quick reaction, a 3-year-old boy was rescued.

“He was submerged and struggling when I got there, and coughing a lot when I got him out of the water,” O’Reilly recalled.

The boy’s mother rushed to her son, and to recognize the lifeguard’s speedy efforts.

“I love the Ridgefield community, everyone is always very nice,” O’Reilly said. “That’s exactly why I decided to lifeguard when I was 16.”

A graduate of the Ridgefield High School Class of 2015, O’Reilly is currently a college junior, studying finance at Penn State.

He said he’s looking forward to lifeguarding again this summer at Martin Pond, a season that runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

But he won’t forget the snowy March morning when his actions helped save someone’s life.

“It was the day after the huge snowstorm last week,” O’Reilly told The Press Monday, March 12. “The pool was pretty quiet. I was about two hours into my shift and then it happened. Luckily, I was prepared for it.”