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TEEN SAVES BOY'S LIFE IN POOL

If it's anything like a three-day period last week, Steven L. Kaun, 17, is in for a doozy of a summer.

Last Saturday, he graduated from Maryvale High School.

On Tuesday, he saved a life.

Authorities said Kaun pulled Reggie McIver, 11, of Pine Ridge Road in Cheektowaga, from the 12-foot-deep end of the swimming pool in Cheektowaga Town Park on Harlem Road, then revived the boy with the help of other lifeguards.

Kenneth J. Kopacz said it was the first near-drowning at the town's three pools in his 11 years as town recreation director, "and I hope the last."

Kaun said he had just finished putting on some tanning oil when he heard a commotion at one corner of the deep end of the pool, scanned the area and saw nothing amiss.

But a few moments later, "All of a sudden, his (McIver's) cousins and friends are yelling, 'Help, help, he's drowning,' " Kaun recalled Friday.

"I thought I saw something on the bottom but I wasn't sure. He had on black shorts, and the lines in our pool are black, and the water wasn't real clear, so I went down and, sure enough, there he was," the second-year town lifeguard said.

Kaun said he swam down to the boy, grabbed him and headed for the surface.

Lifeguards Jackie Houser and Margaret Brezowski, with 19 years of experience between them, joined in the rescue at that point, helping Kaun get the boy to the side of the pool and then up on the deck.

In this case, prodding and calling the victim's name were enough to bring the boy back to full consciousness shortly after he was pulled from the water, he said.

"He was dazed and confused, but his pulse was decent. He was asking where he was, what happened, and his cousins were saying, 'Don't worry, your dad's coming,' and then the police and paramedics got there," Kaun said.

The McIver family could not be reached to comment on Friday, but Kaun and Kopacz said they were thankful.

"Oh, the father was outrageous, hugging and thanking me," Kaun chuckled.

"I knew when I saw the tears in the father's eyes that the boy came from a caring, loving family," Kopacz said.

"Steve's professionalism and training helped avert what could have been a disaster for the family and community. I'm extremely proud of him and his two supervisors, Jackie Houser and Margaret Brezowski, who helped in the save," Kopacz said.

Kaun, who lives on Broad Street in Cheektowaga, said he took his lifeguard training at Maryvale High School. With high school behind him, he said he plans to enter the Air Force.

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