Tarentum girl, 2, helps honor first responders who saved her life | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

Tarentum girl, 2, helps honor first responders who saved her life

Brian C. Rittmeyer
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Brian C. Rittmeyer | Tribune-Review
Eureka Fire Rescue EMS deputy Chief Brad James accepts a commendation pin from Isabella Nulph, 2, at the Tarentum Council meeting on Thursday, May 9, 2019, as her mother, Amy Nulph (back, right), looks on. James was among the paramedics and Tarentum police officers who helped save Isabella when she was found unresponsive in her family’s back yard pool in the borough on March 14, 2019.
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Brian C. Rittmeyer | Tribune-Review
Eureka Capt. Susan Clark gives a Build-A-Bear dressed as a police officer to Isabella Nulph, 2, at the Tarentum Council meeting on Thursday, May 9, 2019. Clark gave Isabella two bears, the other dressed as a firefighter, after Isabella helped hand out recognitions to seven people who responded, including paramedics and two police officers, when she nearly drowned in her family’s back yard swimming pool on March 14, 2019.
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Brian C. Rittmeyer | Tribune-Review
Tarentum police Chief William Vakulick (right) hands a commendation plaque to Eureka emergency medical technician Robert McGrath at the Tarentum Council meeting on Thursday, May 9, 2019. McGrath was one of five with Eureka and two borough police officers recognized for their efforts in saving two-year-old Isabella Nulph when she nearly drowned in her family’s swimming pool on March 14, 2019.

In March, Tarentum police and Eureka paramedics responded to a true life-or-death call.

Life won.

Isabella Nulph, 2, nearly drowned in a pool in the backyard of her family’s Fifth Avenue home March 14.

The first responders who helped save her life — two Tarentum police officers and five crew members with Eureka Fire Rescue EMS — were recognized at Tarentum Council’s meeting Thursday night.

Isabella was there with her family and helped hand out their honors.

Recognized were police Officers Matt Kaminski and Charles “CJ” Lutz Jr.; and with Eureka, paramedics Capt. Susan Clark, Supervisor Shannon McKruit and Anthony Sage and emergency medical technicians Robert McGrath and Deputy Chief Brad James.

“We really appreciate everything they did,” her mother, Amy Nulph, said.

Councilman Tim Cornuet said their efforts in stabilizing Isabella made it possible for her to be flown to UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. She spent five days there before going home, her mother said.

“Responding with composure and teamwork to the most critical of calls, you all collectively acted in a skillful and professional manner,” Cornuet said. “You brought, without a doubt, a positive outcome to something that could have been extremely tragic.

“We are all thankful that the child was able to stay so very strong during this time,” he said. “She was able to battle to regain her health and without a doubt, she deserves credit for being a fighter, herself.”

While Isabella handed out pins and police Chief William Vakulick passed out plaques, the responders also had something for Isabella — two Build-A-Bears, one a police officer, the other a firefighter.

The badge number on the police bear is a combination of Kaminski’s and Lutz’s badge numbers; the firefighter bear features Eureka’s patch on its helmet.

Seeing Isabella well Thursday night — smiling and “giving five” — was “fantastic,” James said.

“That’s the best of all outcomes,” he said.

James said they were dispatched for a drowning. There was a chance she wouldn’t make it.

“She dodged a little bullet,” he said.

“This time, all the pieces of the puzzle played out in a good way,” he said. “This little girl was a fighter. She did good.

“I’m very happy we were able to have a positive impact.”

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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