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'People Said She Was Dead': Off-Duty Nurse Revives Drowning Girl, 8, At Ridgefield Pool

Kerri Burghardt
Kerri Burghardt Photo Credit: Kerri Burghardt/Ridgfield Pool

Lifeless is how Kerri Burghardt described an 8-year-old girl who was pulled from the Ridgefield community pool Saturday afternoon.

Seconds matter in situations like that, the 34-year-old South Hackensack mom knew.

"Normally, when they blow an airhorn for an emergency, the child they pull out is paddling," said Burghardt, a nurse at St. Mary's General Hospital in Passaic.

"But the first thing I saw was a lifeless body."

Burghardt got her own 3-year-old out of the water before clearing bystanders away from the girl, who was laid out on the pool deck.

"People were saying she was dead," the nurse said. "She had no pulse and she wasn't breathing. Her eyes were rolled back and she had purple lips."

Cheryl Consoli on Facebook posted that she and one other woman pulled the girl out and consoled her mom before Burghardt took over.

Burghardt instructed everyone but one lifeguard to back away as they began CPR.

The teenage lifeguard played an important role, giving mouth-to-mouth as Burghardt did chest compressions, police said.

After three rounds, the girl began vomiting, then breathing.

Then crying.

Paramedics took her to Hackensack University Medical Center, Burghardt said.

Burghardt doesn't consider herself a hero. "I was just doing my job," she said.

"I can’t imagine being a mother and having that happen, and not having someone like myself there," she said.

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ALSO SEE: A 4-week-old baby was killed in a car crash Saturday night in Hackensack.

https://dailyvoice.com/new-jersey/hackensack/police-fire/4-week-old-baby-killed-in-hackensack-crash/769830/

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