Richard Wilson was sitting in a hotel hot tub with his two young sons when he heard the scream. It was the kind of scream that any parent knows, he said, and he leapt into action.
Leaving his kids with his wife, he ran to the edge of the Huntington Beach pool where a mother had just spotted her 4-year-old son, Hudson, motionless on the bottom. The mother jumped in and brought her son up to the surface. Clearly panicked and distraught, she handed him to Wilson.
“When she gave him to me, he was blue in the face, had no pulse and was limp as can be,” said Wilson. “His pupils were unresponsive. Mentally, I’m thinking that blue is better than gray, but there were no real signs of life.” Immediately, Wilson’s training kicked in and he began CPR. He avoided breaths and only performed chest compressions due to the likelihood of water in Hudson’s lungs. As a fire apparatus engineer for the Cal Fire Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit, emergency calls are all in a day’s work for Wilson.