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July 24, 2013

Landscaper saves toddler who fell into pool

WINDHAM, N.H. — A landscaper working to build a basketball court is credited with saving the life of a toddler who wasn’t breathing after falling into a swimming pool at a nearby home.

Matthew Pulomena, 24, was building a basketball court at a house on Sharon Road in Windham, N.H., when he heard a mother's cry for help next door. He said he saw the woman carrying the child on her shoulder, and he ran toward her, hopping a fence to reach them.

"There was no hesitation or any hiccups," Pulomena said. "I just took off and did my thing."

The 3-year-old boy wasn't breathing and had no pulse, Pulomena said. So he started CPR.

Moments passed, and then the boy coughed up water.

Windham firefighters arrived and took the child to Parkland Medical Center in Derry, N.H. He was later transferred to Elliot Hospital in Manchester, N.H.

A spokesman for Elliot Hospital said the child was being evaluated Wednesday afternoon.

Neighbors credited Pulomena with saving the child's life.

Bill Dufault was on the job with Pulomena, as foreman for Design Works, the company building the neighbor's basketball court.

"He’s the kind of guy who matters. He would give you the shirt off his back," Dufault said of Pulomena. "I was not surprised for a millisecond at how he reacted. He is one of the best."

Pulomena may get a chance to practice more rescues in the future; he said he hopes to become a firefighter some day.

Details for this story were provided by The Eagle Tribune in North Andover, Mass.

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