Life-Saving Actions

Back row (l. to r.), Richard Turner, Craig Montagner and Craig's son, Gavin; front row, Jaymere (at right) and his brother.

June 13, 2019

The Illuminating Company’s Craig Montagner is no stranger to safety trainings, especially ones focused on cardiopulmonary resuscitation – or CPR.

“At work, I’ve attended CPR certification and refresher trainings for the last 18 years,” said Craig, an electrical services leader assigned to CEI’s Brooklyn Service Center. “I was even a lifeguard at Pioneer Waterland during my teenage years, but never had to save anyone from drowning or administer CPR.”

That is until recently.

On a trip to Cincinnati last month for his daughter’s basketball tournament, Craig and his family stayed at a hotel with a pool. Following the tournament, Craig’s son wanted to go swimming.

“There were five boys in the pool when we arrived, just swimming around and tossing a football back and forth,” recalled Craig. “Then the pool progressively got more crowded as more guests arrived, and eventually two women came in with groups of kids and the place was packed.”

It wasn’t long before a woman ran past Craig, crying for help.

Craig said, “She was shouting ‘somebody help me!’ I looked at the crowded pool and saw a young girl struggling to pull a submerged nine-year-old boy out of the water.”

The woman and Craig removed the boy from the pool and Craig asked the woman to check the boy’s breathing. She assessed his vital signs and determined he wasn’t breathing.

Remembering his years of safety training, Craig snapped into rescue mode.

“I started administering chest compressions to the boy while guiding the woman on how to give rescue breathes,” he said. “After the first round of CPR, his chest went up and down twice, but he didn’t regain consciousness or breath. We did another round of CPR and he came to that time – and began to throw up water and fight for breath.”

Local police arrived at the scene to clear the area while paramedics began treating the boy. He was transported him to a nearby hospital, where he spent three days in intensive care before being released.

Last week, Craig reunited with the boy, Jaymere Turner, and his father, Richard Turner, under much happier circumstances. Since the incident, Jaymere has made a full recovery.

“It’s amazing to me what an automatic behavior CPR truly becomes,” revealed Craig. “I was always the guy who sat in the back of the classroom at every CPR training just going through the motions year after year. I didn’t give it a lot of thought, but now I know all those refreshers helped me save Jaymere’s life. I’m even signing my daughter up for a CPR class this summer.”