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Manning first responders revive toddler after near-death experience

A family is expressing its gratitude to first responders who rescued their 16-month-old after she fell into a dugout on the family farm in Deadwood. The first responders who were at the scene were contacted once the child had recovered to meet with the family.

“She was happy and healthy and playing and extremely excited about all the stuffed animals that the fire department, EMS and the police gave to her,” says Manning and District Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief, Jason Heddema.

The Manning and District Fire Department says the infant was not breathing and had no pulse when they, EMS, and RCMP were dispatched. Heddema says the fire department was the first to arrive at the scene, as there had been members nearby at the time.

“The parents had called 9-1-1 and were being talked through CPR and all that. When our members arrived they assisted with the CPR until the ambulance did arrive,” he says.

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In order to more quickly warm baby Diana Klassen, her wet clothes had to be removed while the team worked. Heddema says after roughly 15 minutes of CPR, a pulse was detected, though her breathing was still insufficient.

He adds the team worked for roughly an hour working to bring Diana to a stable enough condition to transport to QEII Hospital via STARS air ambulance. From there she was flown to the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton for further intensive care.

The tot is expected to make a full recovery, which Heddema says is unsurprising.

“The best thing about this particular situation was because of it being late September, the water was cold enough, hypothermia really helps save the brain through prolonged CPR,” he says. “Basically, anytime you witness someone in a prolonged drowning situation, their body temperature is low enough; the amount of CPR we have to do to resuscitate them 100 per cent doesn’t really have a detriment to the brain when it’s this cold.”

He adds in a warmer situation, going for a prolonged period of time without oxygen could produce deficits in brain function.

First responders were later contacted to meet with the family again to check back with the now recovered Diana.

“She was happy and healthy and playing and extremely excited about all the stuffed animals that the fire department, EMS and the police gave to her,” says Heddema.

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