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Commissioners honor swim team's rescue efforts

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The rescued swimmer is doing well.
HOWLAND -- The Trumbull County commissioners meeting turned emotional Wednesday, as the panel traveled to the Howland Township trustees' meeting room and congratulated five kids and an adult who saved the life of a fellow swimmer at the Elks Swim Club in Warren.
Lifeguard Laura Shaffer, swim team coach Kendra Paul and swimmers Jill Allison, Sara Shafer, Nico Williams and Sydney Paul were all honored with a resolution and certificates for their quick and brave actions July 19, when fellow swim team member Joseph Grech became incapacitated in the pool.
How it happened
The team was playing a game in which swimmers make as many laps as possible across a small distance on one breath. After completing several laps, Joseph disappeared below the surface under a cloud of bubbles.
That's when Laura pulled him to the surface. Kendra Paul began to administer CPR before Joseph was out of the water. Jill, Sara and Nico helped remove Joseph from the pool, and Sydney called 911.
Joseph spent that night in the hospital but is doing well. He attended the ceremony and gave out hugs and presents to his rescuers.
"It's so hard to imagine losing a loved one so young," Tony Grech, the rescued swimmer's father, said during the presentation. "Thank you very much." Also thanking the rescuers was former Howland superintendent Nick Macris, the swimmer's grandfather.
Also honored at the meeting were members and coaches of the Under 11 Howland Lady Tigers fast pitch softball team for winning the 2005 Little League Ohio State Championship held in Ashtabula July 29 through Aug. 2.