Penticton fire captain, local woman given lifesaving awards for rescue of drowning baby in Okanagan Lake

Lauded for saving baby

A Penticton fire captain and a local woman were both awarded BC Lifesaving Society commendations for their roles in saving a baby spotted floating face down in Okanagan Lake last summer.

On June 25, 2020, Meghan Thompson was at Manitou Park in Naramata when her 11-year-old daughter came running back from the shore, shouting that a small boy was immobile in the water.

Thompson told Castanet at the time that he was "completely unresponsive" with blue lips and white skin. She grabbed the child, screaming for help, and an off-duty Penticton Fire Department captain Chad Taylor was luckily on hand.

Thompson passed the baby to Taylor who performed CPR, and thankfully, the 18-month-old boy began puking up water and regained his colour.

Their actions were lauded this week by the BC Lifesaving Society, which presented both Thompson and Taylor with commendation certificates and medals.

The Penticton Professional Firefighters organization gave the pair a shoutout on social media Sunday.

"As firefighters we are never off duty and it showed," they wrote.

"Early and effective CPR were key to saving this life. As summertime starts we want to remind everyone to wear your PFD when in the water and for the younger ones to wear a life jacket when they are playing near the water. If you haven't had a chance to take a CPR course, look for one in your city and sign up, it may save a life one day."

It's a sentiment that echoes what Thompson herself said in the aftermath of that near-miss day — she and her friends on scene vowed immediately to brush up on CPR training.

"Thank God [first responders] were there to help me, because I didn't know what I was going to do with him when I got him back to the shore."

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