A woman who reportedly was swimming with a friend nearly drowned Thursday night on Lake Sinclair in Baldwin County, local authorities say.
The near-tragedy, which happened in the area of Rocky Creek shortly before 7 p.m., was averted by a host of firefighters/first responders with Baldwin County Fire Rescue, along with several deputies with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, and officers with the Milledgeville Police Department.
The Union-Recorder has learned that the woman rescued is Jennifer Nutt Pollard, who serves as executive director of Lockerly Arboretum in Milledgeville.
Pollard, who has worked at Lockerly since 2017, reportedly was swimming with a friend when something happened that led to local emergency personnel being called to the scene, said Baldwin County Fire Rescue Chief Victor Young.
Several firefighters and law enforcement officers were responsible for helping save her life.
When Deputy Sgt. Jerome Roberts and Deputy Artrail Brazil first got to the scene, they retrieved the victim from the water, according to Baldwin County Fire Rescue Capt. Bradley Towe, who works as the training officer and a fire investigator.
The two deputies recognized that the victim was unresponsive and had no respirations, Towe said in a letter of request asking Baldwin County Fire Rescue Chief Young and Baldwin County Sheriff Bill Massee to honor those involved with a life-saving award.
“Sgt. Roberts initiated immediate life-saving measures by conducting quality CPR,” Towe said.
While the deputy was administering CPR to the victim, she began breathing on her own.
“Noticing that the patient was still having difficulty breathing, Roberts and Brazil put the patient in a left lateral recumbent position to assist in the clearing of the airway,” Towe said.
Towe said a short time later that Firefighter Chris Thomas arrived on the scene and began administering high-flow oxygen, as well as other life-saving measures to the patient.
Personnel with Grady Emergency Medical Services, meanwhile, later arrived and the victim was transferred to the EMS’s Advanced Life Support Team, Towe said.
Another county firefighter, Wes Folendore, assisted the EMS team with medical care by riding in the ambulance from the scene to the local hospital.
Deputy Sgt. Brandon Towe and Milledgeville Police Road Patrol Commander, Maj. Linc Boyer had deputies and city police officers clear intersections for the ambulance to make its way to Atrium Health Navicent Baldwin hospital in Milledgeville.
Pollard was later transferred to Atrium Health Navicent at The Medical Center in Macon where she was admitted as a patient.
Capt. Towe said this particular emergency call showed not only the training level of each of the members of the agencies involved, but it also demonstrated how well they all work together under a high-stress situation.
“The quick response and recognition of the severity of this emergency, as well as the immediate life-saving measures provided, resulted directly in the saving of a citizen’s life in this county,” Towe said. “Therefore, I believe the actions of these personnel deserve to be recognized. I would like to recommend that Sgt. Roberts, Deputy Brazil, Maj. Boyer, and Firefighters Chris Thomas and Wes Folendore, receive a life-saving award for their actions on this date.”