An infant was plucked from a Stevenson Ranch pool and rushed to the hospital via helicopter Wednesday afternoon, according to fire and sheriff’s department officials.
Reports of a baby not breathing were phoned into the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station at 12:41 p.m., Sgt. Mike Konecny said.
Los Angeles County Fire and American Medical Response crews were dispatched along with sheriff’s units to a private residence on the 25500 block of Hardy Place near Stafford Canyon Road.
Several patrol cars swiftly positioned at intersections between the home and Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in anticipation of blocking off a path for the ambulance to travel.
At 12:47 p.m., units first to the scene reported the 18-month-old infant had fallen into the pool, County Fire Inspector Joey Marron explained to The Signal.
After a few minutes, sheriff’s units radioed in to the station’s desk to report the baby was breathing again, Konecny said.
In the most severe cases, patients under the age of 18 are sent to a hospital with a dedicated pediatrics unit, typically Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Because a ground unit would take too much time, a request for an air squad, or helicopter, is made.
County Fire Air Operations helicopter No. 11 was added to the response and a plan was formed to transport the infant by ground to an abandoned parking at the western terminus of Poe Parkway.
The patrol cars initially assigned to block off intersections were rerouted to secure a path for the ambulance to travel to the helicopter.
The child was transported to the helicopter and flown to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
This procedure of escorting medical crews to the hospital, while not officially on the books, is often practiced by the sheriff’s station for serious medical responses and those far from the nearest medical center, Konecny confirmed.
On Aug. 22, a similar incident took place in Canyon Country. Sheriff’s deputies shut down several intersections over a 12-mile span between the home and Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. The unique partnership and unofficial procedure often shaves minutes off travel time for paramedics.
“If it’s from Canyon Country to Henry Mayo, it could cut five to six minutes of time,” Konecny said.
The station watch commander added that any time saved by escorting medical crews adds to the few seconds they have to get the patient to the hospital.
“If you can cut out any time, it’s worth it,” he said.