The Community Enrichment Director at RiverWoods Senior Living Community in Lewisburg is being recognized as a hero, after saving a baby’s life during a swim class. The American Red Cross of North Central Pennsylvania honored Cookie Connolly and her team of lifeguards at a recent Heroes Recognition Breakfast, held at the Genetti Hotel in Williamsport.
Cookie was filling in for a lifeguard at a Monday evening “Swim Babies” class with the Buffalo Valley Recreation Authority. While on duty, she heard a mother screaming for help and holding up her baby. Cookie acted quickly and flipped the baby over her forearm and thigh, as she was trained to do, and administered back thrusts. The baby spit out the water and started to breath. The baby’s mother was very thankful for Cookie’s instinctive actions. Cookie said, “It is just what you do when you are lifeguarding. You try to make it not a big deal, assure the mother the baby will be fine, and encourage everyone to carry on.”
Other lifeguards at RiverWoods Senior Living Community were also recognized, including Bob Frangione, Taryn Wilk, Tara Budman, Kristina Brouse and Cade Dieffenderfer. They all received their training through the Red Cross. Frangione, a Red Cross Volunteer CPR and Lifeguard Trainer, has been a Red Cross volunteer trainer for over 30 years and has been Cookie’s trainer at Riverwoods for the last 7 years.
The lifeguards were recognized for the work they do on a daily basis to help during emergencies such as this one. Without a lifeguard on duty that day, the outcome could have been much different. Cookie explained, “We’re only a hero when we encounter a life or death situation, engage with it, remember our training and the recipient of our training survives.”
RiverWoods Senior Living Community is owned and operated by Albright Care Services, a faith-based non-profit corporation that serves all of central Pennsylvania. Albright also owns and operates Normandie Ridge Senior Living Community in York; Living Independently For Elders (LIFE) sites in Williamsport, Lebanon and Lancaster; and manages Warrior Run Manor, a HUD-approved housing complex in Watsontown. For more information on Albright, visit www.albrightcare.org.
Photo: From Left to Right- Kimberly A. Wetherhold , Vice President Community Retail Manager, The Muncy Bank & Trust Co., Cookie Connolly , Community Enrichment Director, RiverWoods, Bob Frangione, Aquatics Specialist, RiverWoods, Taryn Wilk, Community Fitness and Wellness Coordinator, RiverWoods