A Methuen Fire Department ambulance crew was on the way to save an unconscious boy hurt in a swimming accident Monday night when they noticed a car speeding toward them. A man emerged from the vehicle about 7 p.m., carrying a limp child.

“Within one minute of us leaving the station for the call, we saw this car stop in front of us and a man flag us down. He pulled out this boy who was not breathing and turning blue,” explained EMT Brian Wolfendale, who had been on the job more than a year.

Wolfendale and fellow EMT Luis Nigaglioni said they quickly performed CPR on the 8-year-old child.


He coughed up water and began to breathe again as residents popped out of their homes to check on the commotion, Wolfendale said. It wasn’t until the father explained the circumstances that the duo realized the boy was the victim they had been on their way to help.

The boy was knocked unconscious when he hit his head while diving into a swimming pool on the steamy night, the fire department said. After placing a 911 call, the boy’s father loaded him into his car and drove toward the station, according to a Monday press release from the department.

By the time the 8-year-old arrived at Lawrence General Hospital, he was alert and conscious. The child was still under evaluation as of Tuesday afternoon, said Jeff Gerardi, the fire department’s EMS Coordinator. Wolfendale, meanwhile, was back at work Tuesday morning and darting from emergency call to emergency call.

“This is probably the second time this has happened in the 20 years I’ve been here,” said Gerardi. “Typically, they are just waiting for you at the location, but the anxiety and stress can be too much sometimes.”