STOCKTON, Calif. — A training exercise nearly turned deadly for two Stockton firefighters.
The firefighters were training at the University of The Pacific pool trying to qualify for the Stockton Dive and Rescue Team when they nearly drowned.
Officials said the two firefighters had just finished dive training when they decided to do additional practice on their own.
“They were working on trying to increase their endurance underwater… breathing underwater,” Stockton Fire Department spokesman Matt Short said.
But something went wrong during the exercise and the two passed out. That’s when a member of the UOP water polo team pulled one of the firefighters out of the water and the dive team rescued the other.
“We call it the golden hour… these guys were in the golden minute. They managed to pull the individuals out and resuscitate them, and that’s what probably saved their lives,” Short said.
Both were rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital for treatment. One of the firefighters was expected to be released Friday, but the other remains in intensive care because of water in his lungs.
Stockton Fire Department officials said they could not explain how the two firefighters lost consciousness at nearly the same time at different ends of the pool.