HOPKINS, Minn. (KMSP) - No one knows exactly how long an 11-year-old girl visiting family from Washington D.C. was unconscious in the deep end of a Hopkins pool.
“All I could see was the big shadow at the bottom. I was like damn...she was belly down,” said Earl Landry, who has worked on the maintenance team at Creekwood Apartments for six months.
Shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, he was inside the office with his back to the pool when he and another staff member heard the girl's cousin scream for help
“I don't even remember how I got out of the office so fast. All I know is I started flinging stuff off me, the radio and stuff. Everything else went in the pool with me,” said Landry. “Some guy showed up out of nowhere like a guardian angel. Right there at the 8 feet sign and helped lift her out because she was heavy. I couldn't get her out the water.
Landry happens to be a former firefighter from Ohio. Although that career ended nearly 30 years ago, he has always kept up his CPR training. He even carries his first aid kit in his car at all times.
“Thank God I keep it current,” says Landry.
Without time to get the kit, he immediately started chest compressions until first responders arrived.
“The water and the foam and the blood is coming out her nose and her mouth,” said Landry. "So I rolled her on her side and have people run and get her towels, so I can drain and then I rolled her back. Then I started chest compressions again.”
“Earl truly is a hero. He acted in split seconds,” says Sgt. Mike Glassberg. “I have no doubt his actions are why this girl is still alive.”
Landry says he hardly thought about what he was doing and he isn't celebrating anything yet until the girl he's credited with saving can stand beside him.
“I got to see this pool every day, but once I see her up and walking around it will be better.”
The first Hopkins Police officers on scene tried to book a flight to help the girl’s mother get to Minnesota from Washington D.C. After talking with MSP Airport Police, Sun Country Airlines stepped up and comped the mother a ticket.
Fox 9 is told the girl is recovering at an area hospital with her mother by her side.