By Ally Doty
An elderly man suffered from a diabetic seizure while swimming laps in the Pensacola State College swimming pool around 1 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013.
Paul Flores is a regular at the PSC pool and swims almost every day to stay in good shape and stay healthy, but his condition got the better of him today in the pool.
PSC student Seth Emerich, who has been a lifeguard for four years, was on watch at the lifeguard stand when it happened and acted immediately on scene.
“He started having a seizure at the shallow end of the pool,” Emerich said after the paramedics arrived and had Flores hooked up to oxygen tubes and an IV. “I rushed over to the side of the pool and a woman helped me stabilize him in the water before we could pull him out.”
The EMS team was called by a bystander and they responded almost immediately to the call.
“EMS arrived in a jiffy,” Emerich said, “I had already monitored his airway breathing and his blood circulation to make sure he stayed conscious.”
On-lookers congratulated Emerich on his heroic debut, praising him for his quick reaction time and his urgency to get Flores stabilized.
“He did such a great job,” Far Parker, a swimmer, mentioned outside. “This is the first time Seth has encountered a situation like this and he handled it very well.”
Aquatic Coordinator, Kay Miller, was not on scene when it happened but arrived shortly after, closing the pool to the public and made sure to write the report for the incident. “His blood sugar had dropped drastically,” Miller said. “This has never happened in the pool and Seth did a fantastic job controlling the situation.”
The paramedics were able to raise Flores’ blood sugar back to normal and he was soon snacking on small treats and holding a regular conversation with the people around him.
Emerich, who is attending PSC for his computer science major, was glad to see Flores back in mint condition.
“I’ve only been working here for a year,” Emerich said. “And as I was pulling him out of the water all he could say was ‘can I just swim one more lap?’”
The pool will re-open tomorrow at its regular time, 11 a.m.