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Burns and McDonnell employee saved boy with CPR he learned on the job

All construction employees at company are required to learn CPR
josh showalter.png
Posted at 5:29 PM, May 10, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Josh Showalter never thought he’d have to use his CPR training, much less at a pool party.

He learned the skill through his employer, but used it to save a young boy while off the clock.

“I never took CPR training ever wanting to use CPR training,” Showalter said. “But I’m very thankful that in my profession I had the tools and resources to save Cam’s life.”

Cam is a 4-year-old who fell into a pool in June 2023 in Ohio.

Showalter was living in Ohio for a work assignment and at the pool party when he switched into “complete robot mode” to perform CPR on Cam once his dad pulled him from the water.

“He looked blue, I could tell he was unconscious. It took me a minute to realize that that was my son,” said Chelsey Keough, Cam’s mother.

After about two minutes of compressions, Cam began spitting out water and was conscious again. Paramedics took him to the hospital where he stayed for two days.

He left totally healthy.

“It was all God,” Keough said. “He [Showalter] was there for a reason. I truly thank God every single day that he was there. Not one person knew CPR other than Josh.”

Showalter knows CPR thanks to a policy at Kansas City, Missouri-based engineering firm Burns and McDonnell which requires the more than 2,100 employees in its construction department to learn CPR.

The company held a training session Friday. Showalter said other parents at the pool last summer have taken it upon themselves to learn CPR.

Locally, the American Red Cross, Children’s Mercy Hospital and other groups offer CPR training.

The Keough family has made safety a top priority. Chelsey enrolled Cam in a rescue-style swim class two days after he got out of the hospital last summer.

“It’s very focused on safety and what to do when you come across a situation where you might feel unsafe or be in an emergency. They really focus on that,” Keoough said. “And he's still in those classes almost a year later and he's he's thriving. He's doing great.”

May is National Water Safety Month. Several organizations like the YMCA encourage families to follow tips around the water like supervising children, have children wear a life jacket, require children to ask for permission before even going near water.