Teenage lifeguard helped deliver a baby on YMCA pool deck after woman’s waters broke while she was swimming

“You can’t really wait for someone else to help but you are the lifesaver,” said Natalie Lucas.

Finding your way around the adult world of work as a teenager with your first job might be intimidating.

This Colorado adolescent received more than she bargained for when she found out she would be the one to help a lady through labour during her shift.

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Longmont, Colorado’s Natalie Lucas, then 18, was more mature and responsible than her friends, so she got a lifeguard job while still in high school. She understood that it was her duty to ensure the security of the pool patrons at all times.

She would be responsible for enforcing the pool’s safety policies and ensuring everyone felt secure while under her watch.

Natalie was a certified lifeguard for three years. It was a hot morning shift for Natalie Lucas, who works as a lifeguard at the YMCA of Northern Colorado. Tessa Rider and her husband, Matthew Jones, were visiting the pool area. Tessa was nine months pregnant, and she was very uncomfortable due to the later part of her pregnancy. The only relief was when she was swimming, so she and her husband came to the local swimming pool.

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Natalie kept an eye out while Rider was in the pool and quickly noticed a few minutes later that she seemed to be having difficulty.

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It was then that the 18-year-old lifeguard recounted, “She had a [pool] noodle to try to release some stress from all that weight on the front of her, I’m guessing, and then she began crawling out of the pool… and I was like, okay, I need to go check to make sure everything’s okay there.”

But everything was not OK with Rider’s water breaking while she was on the pool deck. Tessa was taking off her swimsuit as Matthew dialled 911 for assistance.

“At that point, the baby was already kind of coming out and it was quick. I would say less than five minutes that it all happened,” Lucas said.

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“I stayed calm, and I helped them through from begging to end of birthing process even it was the craziest day in my three years working.” Lucas said.

Lucas was trained to help in emergencies, and she had saved a few kids from drowning over the years of working as a lifeguard, but helping a mother give birth was more than she had been trained on. Whatever she could to assist the couple during the frenzied delivery.

Their son, Tobin ‘Toby’ Rider, was born within minutes.

“My adrenaline kicked in right then and there,” Rider explained, adding that she immediately grabbed towels and an emergency first-aid kit, and she used a walkie-talkie to alert other staff of the situation. She also asked a man who was swimming laps to call an ambulance.

‘I was helping support her head, and the husband was helping guide the baby out,’ Lucas said. ‘I stayed calm, and I didn’t freak out, because that’s what you need to do in this job. You can’t really hesitate or wait for someone else to come. You’re the lifeguard; you’re the lifesaver.’

‘I’m so glad the baby is okay, and they now have a new addition to their beautiful family,’ Lucas said.

“Baby Tobin was born happy and healthy on the pool deck. Without Lucas I would not have been able to face this hard situation” Tobin’s father, Matthew Jones, said.