Teen Lifeguard Rescues Toddler After Only 20 Minutes on the Job

Jack Viglianco
Fox 8 Cleveland

As swimming pools continue to get crowded with kids enjoying time off from school, lifeguards are more important than ever. But when one teen showed up for his first shift as an official lifeguard, he definitely wasn't expecting to make a viral rescue. A 15-year-old is being called a hero after he saved a toddler from drowning on his first day on the job.


Jack Viglianco says he heard the cries of a 4-year-old boy on a camp field trip who was struggling to swim in the Charles A. Foster pool in Lakewood, Ohio.

"I heard like a help, ah, kind of thing," Viglianco tells Fox 8 Cleveland. "And I looked over and I saw a guy who's probably like 3'6', in the four-foot water and gasping for air. Active drowners can still breathe, and they're still above water, but they are still in the act of drowning."

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Viglianco's instincts, paired with the five-hour orientation the teen completed the day before (yes, only the day before!), enabled this awesome 15-year-old to spring into action and save a little boy's life -- just 20 minutes into his very first shift as a lifeguard.


Matt Demaline, the Lakewood Recreation Department's aquatics manager, can't reiterate this 15-year-old's attentiveness enough, telling Fox 8 Cleveland, "Jack activated our emergency response plan. He got down off the chair and jumped in and helped the kid to safety."

Swimming pool accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, which is what makes badasses like Jack such a resource for parents and caregivers. If anything, this story should inspire all of us to be more vigilant when our little ones are in and around the pool, because it only takes a second for tragedy to strike.

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Since news of Jack's heroic efforts made a splash across the Internet, the teen feels even more empowered to make a difference.

"I was realizing that I just saved a kid's life," Viglianco reveals to Fox 8 Cleveland. "And that is something not many other people can say. Nothing my friends have ever said."

Awesome job, Jack. Awesome job.

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