First responders awarded for heroic rescue of 3-year-old in Grosse Ile

Nine first responders were awarded during a township board meeting

A group of police officers and firefighters are now being called heroes for saving the life of a three-year-old girl who nearly drowned in a friend’s pool. This week those nine first responders were awarded during a township board meeting.

GROSSE ILE, Mich. – A group of police officers and firefighters are now being called heroes for saving the life of a three-year-old girl who nearly drowned in a friend’s pool.

This week those nine first responders were awarded during a township board meeting.

It happened June 26, around 5 p.m., when the first EMT to respond was off duty as she was there at the house with her family.

The three-year-old girl is doing well thanks to the quick action of the people at the home.

“It was definitely one of those you never want to hear on the radio (of) unresponsive child, CPR in progress found in the pool,” said Grosse Ile Police Officer A.J. Benson.

Grosse Ile first responders raced to the home, but what they didn’t know was one of their own was already there.

“Just the right people at the right time, the right sequence of events and the perfect outcome,” said EMT Firefighter Cindy Simon.

Simon said things got chaotic after someone at the house noticed their child was missing. One of the adults (a former lifeguard) spotted the three-year-old at the bottom of the pool and, without hesitation, jumped in and pulled the girl out.

“I just remember in that moment saying, ‘you can’t panic’ because I heard everybody else screaming and having to tune that out or, turn that off and just know that everything, all of my efforts, all of our efforts had to be directed towards saving her life,” Simon said.

Simon, along with two people there with medical backgrounds, started CPR.

“She was blue when we pulled her out, and seeing the color come back from those compressions, and the rescue breaths was just phenomenal,” Simon said. “I’ve never seen anything like that.”

Simon’s colleagues arrived shortly after, and the little girl was taken to the hospital.

This week those heroic efforts are being celebrated.

“I couldn’t be more proud of my firefighters and my police,” said Grosse Ile Township Fire Department Chief Russell Bodrie. “They saved the day.

The first responders say that rescue will be a moment they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

“When the family came by a week or two ago (and) me and Simon got to meet the family,” said Lenny Pusdesris of the Grosse Ile Township Fire Department.”

“Having seen her since the incident, seeing her run around and that, it makes doing what we do worth it,” Simon said.

Grosse Ile Fire Dept. said the biggest takeaway from this incident is there needs to be one adult designated to watch people, especially kids, in the water, whether that’s in a pool or lake.

***LIFE-SAVING COMMENDATIONS*** The Grosse Ile Fire Department would like to congratulate the following firefighters...

Posted by Grosse Ile Fire Department on Wednesday, August 10, 2022

About the Authors:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.