3-year-old nearly drowns, father grateful for actions of good Samaritan

Posted at 8:27 PM, Aug 07, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-07 23:53:24-04

HIGHLAND, Utah -- A 3-year-old girl is recovering from a near drowning, and she is alive thanks to the quick actions of not only her father, but also a nearby good Samaritan.

The girl nearly drowned at Highland Glen Park Tuesday.

Piper simply wanted to cool down in the water before leaving the park Tuesday.

"She was in the lake, she got a little bit too deep," said her brother, Gabe, who was with her in the water.

He's not much older than the 3 year old and remembers: "She sat down and she couldn't get up… I tried to get her back but I couldn't."

That's when Piper's father, Jared Singleton, realized she wasn't floating face up like she does at home, but taking in water.

"To watch her go from pink and kinda scared to just a blue, blank expression was extremely scary as a parent,” he said.

Jeremy Barlow is a city employee. He was working just a few feet away. He immediately ran to help, giving Piper chest compressions as her father cleared her airway.

“I was pretty nervous for a while and scared, so when she started breathing I was pretty, pretty excited," Barlow said.

Singleton adds, "For him to the compressions and not me as the father, I'm so grateful."

Piper is back to her usual, playful self, but things could have ended very differently had Barlow not been so close. He's shrugging off the hero label, and he said he hopes others would have done the same for him.

"I'm a dad and I know I'd appreciate help if I had a situation like that,” he said.

Singleton said he doesn't care if others see this story and think he's a bad father. He said he's sharing what happened with Piper to encourage other parents to take a CPR class, buy a life jacket, or change how they supervise their kids.

According to the Lone Peak Fire Department, they have responded to a total of three near drownings in the past two and a half months. The other incidents have happened in residential pools.

Fire officials are urging parents to be sure they are supervising their children near water and also to have life vests on children who don't know how to swim.

Related stories:

Strangers’ quick actions may have saved young boy’s life after near drowning