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Off-Duty Firefighter Saves Boy At Baxter Water Park

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(credit: CBS) John Lauritsen
John Lauritsen is a reporter from Montevideo, Minn. He joined WCCO-...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - Last Sunday morning at the Holiday Inn Express water park in Baxter was exactly what Greg Bomstad wanted. He was enjoying time with his two children when another parent caught his attention.

“He asked me, ‘is this kid faking?’ And I said, ‘What kid? There’s been no kid over here in like 10 minutes,’” Bomstad said.

But when Greg looked in the water, he saw the lifeless body of a 6-year-old boy. Just a week before, the 14-year veteran of the Sauk Rapids Fire Department had been called to a car accident where a girl had been killed.

“I just thought to myself ‘Not two kids in a row in two weeks,'” he said.

After the boy was pulled out of the pool, Greg and a Duluth firefighter named Joe – who also happened to be at the park – began CPR.

“It all happened so fast. I knew what I had to do. Joe knew what he had to do when he came over to help me, and we just started doing it. We really didn’t have time to think about it,” he said.

After 10 minutes of working and getting no response, the boy suddenly gasped and spit up water.

“I kind of figured we got that much water to come out, and we actually saw his chest rise a little bit, we knew we had a pretty good chance them,” he said.

During his 14 years as a firefighter, Greg has administered CPR three times. He says this is the first it helped him save someone’s life.

The 6 year old was rushed to the hospital. Later, officers told Greg that the boy was sitting up and talking to nurses.

Sauk Rapids Fire Chief Tony Hommerding isn’t surprised that Greg and the other firefighter did what they did.

“They’re very dedicated, highly dedicated individuals,” Hommerding said. “Very proud of them.”

Greg says it was just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

“It is a big deal, but it’s just something we’re trained to do. And I guess I expect myself to handle that situation that way and move one,” Bomstad said.

The 6-year-old boy is from Aitkin. A hotel manager told WCCO that the boy was with his grandparents and may have had a seizure while swimming.

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