Dewey Lifeguards Help Resuscitate Toddler


Members of the Dewey Beach Patrol resuscitated a toddler last Monday morning after she was seriously injured. This did not happen on the beach, but in a townhouse in the ocean block of Dickinson Street where the three-year-old girl had tumbled down a flight of stairs.

After her frightened parents called 9-1-1 for help, the lifeguards heard the call dispatched on the beach patrol’s fire/EMS radio and responded to the townhouse. That is where they found the girl pulseless, DBP Capt. Todd Fritchman said, and they immediately began efforts to try and save her life.

Dewey Beach lifeguards, Capt. Fritchman explains, do more than guard the beach. They respond to medical emergencies throughout town and provide care to the maximum extent possible under their certifications. The guards have medical training and the patrol typically has an EMT ready to respond. The DBP UTV, shown here, is ready, packed with medical and rescue gear!

It is especially critical in Dewey, Capt. Fritchman explains because an ambulance from Rehoboth or paramedic from Plantations Road could easily get delayed in traffic. DBP members can be on the scene almost anywhere in town within a couple of minutes ready to start basic-life support. “In a case like this,” he observes, “this could be a matter of life or death.” While Dewey police do respond on EMS calls, DBPD Sgt. Clifford Dempsey says it is good to have the lifeguards there because of their medical training.

“Our program was successful because we saved a life,” Capt. Fritchman said. “We should be proud of their response efforts,” he added.

Photo courtesy DBP