2 Aurora lifeguards -- Carly Smith and Maddie Rich -- are honored for saving 3-year-old girl

AURORA, Colo. - Two, young Aurora lifeguards were honored Thursday for an unusual rescue that saved a 3-year-old girl.

The pool at the Wheatlands Clubhouse in Aurora had just emptied for a safety break.

That's when Carly Smith spotted a toddler lying unconscious on the pool deck. The child had swallowed too much water, wandered away from the pool vomiting and then passed out.

Carly's instincts took over. She called fellow lifeguard Maddie Rich for help, and the two of them started CPR.

"It was weird because you always think that you'd be so panicky and that you'd freak out if something like that ever actually happened," Carly said. "But you go into this other world, you go into this zone."

Maddie recalled, "We finally got her breathing again, and we rolled her over into the recovery position, which is just on her side. And that way if she were to throw up, it wouldn't go down her throat."

"If it wasn’t for the fast action of our two lifeguards, we wouldn't have had this positive outcome," said Kimberly Armitage, Executive Director of YMCA's Aquatics Program. "Their training was put into action and we are very proud of them."

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