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West Seneca boy pulled from pool, resuscitated 2-year-old wandered into the backyard

A 2-year-old boy was pulled from an above-ground inflatable swimming pool at his West Seneca home Wednesday evening and successfully resuscitated by Vigilant volunteer firefighters and Rural/Metro Medical Services paramedics on the way to Mercy Hospital.

The boy, whose name was withheld by police, was playing about 5:30 p.m. with his toys in a "Florida room" attached to the back of the family's garage on Southwood Drive while his parents were nearby cleaning the garage, West Seneca Police reported.

The boy wandered through a door into his backyard and fell over the edge into the soft-sided pool.

When his parents went to check on him in the "Florida room," he was not there and they began a frantic search for him with the help of neighbors.

The boy's father found him unresponsive in the 3-foot high swimming pool in about 20 inches of water, according to Assistant Police Chief Daniel Denz.

"There was no foul play involved," Denz said. "It appears it's just a tragic accident."

Family members quickly dialed 9-1-1. Vigilant Volunteer Fire Company Chief Gary Parucki, who lives around the corner from the family, was first on the scene.

Parucki said the child had no pulse and was not breathing when he got to the house. He immediately began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and CPR until firefighters arrived with the Vigilant rescue truck.

The volunteer firefighters' rig linked up with a Rural/Metro supervisor's vehicle on the way to Mercy Hospital. The supervisor, Jeffrey A. Nielsen, jumped aboard the Vigilant rescue truck along with Rural/Metro paramedic Chuck Hardy.

By the time crews reached Mercy, the boy had been revived.

"The child was in cardiac arrest," said Jay Smith, Rural/Metro spokesman. "But they were able to revive him." Added Parucki: "We did bring him back as far as his pulse and his breathing."

The boy was stabilized at Mercy and then taken to Women & Children's Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition late Wednesday night.

"The parents' lost sight of the child for a short time," Denz said. "When you have small children, you always have to be aware of what they're doing and where they are."

Denz said the inflatable pool measured about 10 feet in diameter. It was not fenced off; however, it was in a fenced-off backyard in accordance with West Seneca town code.

It was not known how long the boy had been in the water, Denz said.

This was the second time in just a few days that Nielsen responded to a report of child drowning. He was involved in the rescue of a 10-year-old girl who went under the water of Lake Erie at Woodlawn Beach on Monday.

e-mail: tpignataro@buffnews.com

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