Student Lifeguards Save Senior Citizen's Life at RVCC's Pool

Student lifeguards Scott Jordan and Catherine Espinal saved the life of senior citizen Thurston Hughes after he had passed out on RVCC’s pool deck. The Branchburg Township Police Department will honor the students with a Civilian Life Saving Award at a ceremony in April.

Hughes, who comes to the pool every morning at 6 a.m., was sitting on a bench near the pool when he collapsed three weeks ago. Jordan and Espinal ran to Hughes just as he lost conciseness.

Jordan signaled Espinal to dial 911. They then proceeded to check Hughes’ vitals. Jordan began CPR on the pool’s deck, and on the 30th and last compression, Jordan got Hughes back to consciousness.

However, Hughes soon briefly fell back under. Jordan gave him 15 more compressions and successfully revived him a second time.

Soon after, Hughes was cracking jokes and back to his cheerful self. The EMTs then took him to the hospital for further testing.

George Eversmann, Assistant Athletic Director of Aquatics and Facilities, said Jordan and Espinal were quick on the scene, and even in the midst of panic, these students reacted just as they were taught.

“What was going through my mind was just to keep him alive until the EMTs could get there and take care of him,” Jordan said. “But luckily, through my compressions and Cat’s [Catherine Espinal] awesome guidance and persistence checking on Thurston, we were able to revive him.”

“This is the first unconscious person who needed CPR that we have encountered in the two years that I have been here,” Eversmann said. “And before that, I don’t believe there has been this type of medical emergency in quite some time, if at all.”

Video: Raritan Valley Community College Pres. Michael McDonough congratulates Student lifeguards 3-17-2015 Video by: Ben Auletta

Featured image caption: RVCC's pool, located in the Physical Education Building.

Morgan Stiles
Staff Writer / The Record

Morgan Stiles is a staff writer for The Record and plays for the women’s soccer team. Her major is undecided but she plans on attending a four year college to earn a bachelor’s degree. She graduated from Allen D. Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, FL.