Off-Duty Gulfport Firefighter Saves Toddler From Drowning

Cathy Salustri

Off-Duty Gulfport Firefighter Saves Toddler From Drowning
 This weekend Gulfport firefighter/EMT Chris Mathis was working at his Pinellas Park home when he heard a commotion across the street. Mr. Mathis walked across the street and found a neighbor performing CPR on a two-year-old boy who had started to drown in his own pool. Mathis ventilated the toddler and joined the neighbor in CPR.

 A call to 911 brought on-duty emergency personnel, who transported the boy to All Children’s Hospital. He is expected to make a full recovery, something credited in part to Gulfport firefighter Mathis.  

 “He was completely dead when they found him,” Gulfport Fire Chief Jim Marenkovic said. “They said if it wasn’t for him and the other one, it would be completely different.”

 “He did a remarkable job. I was proud of what he did for his community,” Chief Marenkovic said Monday morning. His work was excellent, and he was in the right place at the right time.”

 Mr. Mathis has two boys of his own. He joined Gulfport’s fire department in March 2011.

 All Children’s Hospital will honor the toddler’s rescuers this coming Wednesday.