9-year-old girl saves brother from drowning in Glendale pool

A little girl was able to save her 3-year-old brother from drowning after he had a medical episode.
Published: May. 8, 2023 at 6:30 PM MST
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GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- One Glendale family is sharing a pool safety message as temperatures start to heat up. Tiinaliisa Holmstrom said her kids were swimming in their backyard pool two weeks ago when her 3-year-old son Laiken had a medical episode and went unconscious. His 9-year-old sister Tenley saved his life. “I will never forget the moment when she pulled him out and started compressions. Until we took over moments later,” said Holmstrom.

First responders credit Tenley’s training at a young age. The Phoenix Fire Department gave her an award Monday to thank her and raise awareness on child drownings. This comes following a tragic weekend in the Valley. A 4-year-old boy drowned in a north Phoenix hotel pool Saturday morning. Then, a 2-year-old girl died after being pulled from a backyard pool in Laveen on Sunday. “Clearly it is a big problem and in Arizona with number of pools. It is a big concern,” said Cpt. Kyle Bord with Glendale Fire.

According to the most recent report from the Arizona Child Fatality Report, there were 44 drownings in 2021, making up 5% of child deaths. Additionally, 68% of drownings were kids ages 1-4. “We just want to stress it is important to teach your kids how to swim and as soon as they are of age, teach them CPR,” said Cpt. Bord.

First responders said kids can learn CPR as early as nine years old. They reiterated the importance of watching your kids in the water and putting up pool barriers to protect them. To sign up for certification classes in your area, click here.