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Lifeguards Team Up With Cops To Save Man From Drowning In Totowa Pool

TOTOWA, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- A team of rescuers worked quickly to save a man who nearly drowned at a pool in Totowa.

As CBS2's Emily Smith reported, the life savers didn't think twice about helping someone in distress.

Alez Pezzino has been a lifeguard for three years. it wasn't until Sunday, that he found out how serious the job actually is -- while on duty at the Totowa town pool.

Pezzino got all the credit for administering CPR to a 71-year-old man, but Matt Shpiruk along with two off duty police officers and another lifeguard all collaborated to save a life -- from diving in to get the man to pulling him out of the pool and laying him down on the sidewalk.

"The man was swimming fine. Then he went under the rope to 8 feet and sunk like a stone," Shpiruk said.

Derek Melissant witnessed the terrifying incident and the aftermath.

"I saw a guy drown, and they saved his life. He was dead for a minute and he came back," he said.

At one point the man didn't have a pulse.

Totowa police confirmed the information, but didn't want to go on camera. Officials said it's all part of being a police officer.

Director of Recreation, John Manzinelli said it was downright inspiring to see the off duty officers react so quickly to work with the young lifeguards.

"He was blue, he was really blue, and he wasn't breathing," Manzinelli said.

The survivor's daughter said he will spend one more night in the intensive care unit, but he is expected to be okay.


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