by Lisa Tome
Danielle Rohde and her children turned out at the Community Fire Company of Rising Sun's carnival on Saturday night.
They weren't there for the rides, games, and food.
Rohde was there to say "Thank you" to the volunteers and county medics who helped save the life of one-year-old Zoey earlier this month.
On August 17, Danielle and her children were at their Colora home. Danielle's husband is serving in the U.S. Army and is currently in school in Arizona. About 9:30 a.m., Danielle's three-year-old son told his mother that Zoey was in the family's garden pond. "She was face down. I started doing back compressions and then I called 911. I don't know CPR, I haven't had it in about five years," said Danielle. But she began giving Zoey mouth to mouth resuscitation.
"She was not breathing but then she started coughing up water and then she started breathing on her own. My neighbor came to help, the fire company came and then I didn't see Zoey again until she was in Pediatric Intensive Care at Johns Hopkins," said Danielle.
Brittany Baeder, an EMT with Community Fire Company of Rising Sun credits Danielle for her quick thinking. "This whole summer has been bad (with calls involving children). But we get to have Zoey here, awake, and smiling. It's awesome. She's fine," said Brittany Baeder, an EMT, who was one of those who responded to help the Rohde family. "If (Danielle) hadn't started CPR, we'd be in a whole different boat with not such a good outcome. To have them here, we needed that."
Others on the call included paramedics Josh Williams, Kim Roland, Josh Pierson, Jeff Hennemuth, and Sharron Huffstutler, Ray Blakeley, Jr., Jeff Kennard, and others.
Zoey was flown to Johns Hopkins Hospital and was released a few days later. Danielle said four days later, Zoey's MRI scan came back clear. The only evidence of the incident was a bruised neck.
"I look at her now. I got so lucky. I am going to take CPR classes and then I'm going to be a nurse," said Danielle, who also stated that the family's garden pond has been filled in and is no longer a hazard.
The fire company presented the family with free carnival rides bracelets. They also presented Zoey with a hat featuring the Star of Life, the EMS symbol for life saving.
The Rohdes also invited fire company members to a thank you party.
CFCRS EMS Chief Joe Yengel said he is proud of the outcome. "She's (Zoey) a product of all our hard work. This (expression of gratitude and saved life) means a lot to everybody, even the ones not on the call," said Yengel.