At 23 hours into a 24-hour shift, paramedic worker Todd Zobrist was understandably ready to head home to his wife and two sons.
When paramedic Todd Zobrist got a call that there was possibly someone inside a sinking car in a lake, he immediately rushed to the scene and was the first to arrive. At the point, the car was partially submerged and was about 50 to 75 feet from shore.
Since it was so freezing out, Zobrist knew there wouldn’t be much time to wait for help to arrive. Instead, he started stripping out of his warm clothes, jumped into the lake, and swam to the car. “I thought to myself, ‘This is a terrible decision, and I need just to turn around and go back to the dock because I’m going to get myself in a lot of trouble,’ ” said Zobrist. Yet he decided to continue on. “I was already wet, I was already cold.”
Zobrist peered into a window of the car and saw the driver, 32-year-old Christy Campbell, was already dead, but then spotted what appeared to be a doll floating in the water. “It looked like two feet and two hands,” he said. Zobrist grabbed the leg and discovered the doll was actually an unconscious 3-month-old baby. He then climbed on top of the car and began CPR on the baby and managed to revive him.
“I’m freezing. I’m absolutely in pain all over, muscles freezing up, not wanting to work,” said Zobrist, who didn’t want to get back in the water but had no choice to save the baby. “The baby was in severe danger. He needed to be warmed up immediately.”
Zobrist jumped back in and swam back to shore with the baby held in one hand above the water. The baby was then rushed to the hospital for treatment and was safely reunited with his siblings and relatives. “Whenever anybody in Highland today heard that a paramedic jumped into the water, they knew Todd was the one. He definitely saved the child’s life and put his own life at risk,” said Zobrist’s supervisor, Highland EMS Chief Brian Wilson.
“One little thing that went wrong may have been a totally different outcome,” said Zobrist. “I don’t know how much longer that baby could have been floating on top of that water before he no longer could have been revived.”
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[Featured image: Nine]