Police: Teen lifeguards at Willamalane pool save swimmer who suffered heart attack

Paul Schnoor, 46; Jared Knighten, 18; and Eleanna Soto, 18, performed CPR on the man until police and medics arrived. (SBG)

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Two teenage lifeguards pulled a 73-year-old swimmer who was suffering a heart attack from the pool and performed CPR until police and medics arrived Thursday, Springfield Police said.

Springfield Police said 18-year-old Jared Knighten "observed a change in the swimmer’s stride and then observed him appear to be in distress" at the Willamalane Park Swim Center around 9 a.m.

Knighten called over fellow lifeguard Eleanna Soto, 18, to help pull the man from the water.

With the help of Willamalane employee Paul Schnoor, 46, "he trio began performing life-saving CPR on the unresponsive man. A Springfield police officer arrived and also assisted with CPR until EMS personnel arrived and took over care of the man who had begun to respond to the life-saving efforts of the first responder lifeguards," police said.

Police said medics believe the man went into cardiac arrest while swimming laps. Medics took him to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend for further care.

“I am extremely proud of the heroic actions of the Willamalane staff,” said Michael Wargo, superintendent of Willamalane. “Our aquatics team goes through extensive training and today that training paid off. This, coupled with the efforts of our Police, Fire, and EMS personnel, made a huge difference and had a positive outcome.”

Knighten is a graduate of Thurston High School. Soto is a Springfield High School graduate.

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