Heroic teenage lifeguard saves toddler's life at Ponds Forge

A hero lifeguard saved a toddler after she was pulled unconscious from a Sheffield swimming pool '“ and then declared: 'I was only doing my job.'

Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 5:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 12:57 pm
Lifeguard Hayden Liggins, who saved the life of a two-year-old girl

Teenager Hayden Liggins sprang into action and revived the toddler using CPR after she was pulled from the water at Ponds Forge.

The 18-year-old – a part-time lifeguard and former diver at the venue – was alerted when he heard a woman’s screams.

A young girl had been pulled from the pool and was lying lifeless in the woman’s arms.

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Quick-thinking Hayden, of Clipstone Road, Darnall, swiftly started CPR and summoned help.

Hayden and colleague Lee Shepherd placed the young girl in the recovery position while he tickled her ears and feet in search of a response.

The first signs of life came when the young girl vomited.

Hayden said he believed his calmness throughout the drama was because he had never experienced the situation before.

“The lack of experience helped me out,” he said.

And the modest teenager rejected the hero tag saying: “I was only doing my job.”

But he said there was simply no alternative to saving the little girl.

“I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself,” Hayden said.

His proud parents Dale and Kaye today praised their son’s life-saving actions during Sunday’s drama.

“I’m ecstatic, very proud of him,” said mum Kaye.

She was also quick in echoing Hayden’s words about it being all part of the job.

“It’s his job, and that’s what he’s paid to do,” Kaye said.

“But when I heard what he did, I thought ‘wow, that’s amazing’.”

Hayden has only been a lifeguard at the centre since August but he spent seven years training there as a diver.

He said he has aspirations to join the sport’s coaching ranks and would also like to return to the diving board.

“They are still like family to me,” he said, referring to coaches Tom Owens, Nikki Smith, Nigel Mills and James Milton.

Head of Ponds Forge Dom Stokes said: “Thankfully, incidents like this are few and far between.

“However, when they do occur, we are confident that our team will respond quickly and efficiently in the heat of the moment and are trained to deal with the situation as we have seen in this case.”