Off-duty paramedic helps save child pulled from Ingleside-area lake

Published: 9/25/2009 2:00 PM | Updated: 9/25/2009 4:41 PM

An off-duty paramedic helped to save a toddler who fell into a lake in unincorporated Ingleside late Friday morning, authorities said.

Fox Lake Fire Department Battalion Chief Larry Van Hoorelbeke said authorities were summoned at 11:20 a.m. to a house in the 26000 block of Longwood Drive. Longwood Drive stretches along Duck Lake, east of where Route 59 splits from Route 12 in northern Lake County.

Van Hoorelbeke said the 31/2-year-old boy was found in the water by his mother, who reported he was not breathing when she called for emergency help.

Fox Lake Fire Lt. Curt Martin was driving on Longwood toward his home, and raced to assist when he heard the dispatch for the accident, Van Hoorelbeke said. Martin began cardiopulmonary resuscitation before paramedics arrived.

Van Hoorelbeke said the toddler's heart rate and breathing improved as paramedics worked on him on the way to Centegra Hospital-McHenry. The boy was airlifted to another hospital after he was stabilized in Centegra's emergency room.

Lake County Undersheriff Chuck Fagan said the boy and his 1-year-old sister were playing near a backyard deck extended from the family's home when their mother went inside for about two minutes to assemble lunch. After that brief time, he said, the woman returned outside to hear the girl crying and find her son in the water about 50 yards from the deck.

Van Hoorelbeke said the CPR performed on the child by Martin "played a critical part" in his survival.

Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran praised the rescue effort.

"God bless the Fox Lake Fire (Department)," Curran said. "I'm sure the mother was very grateful as well."