Burbank lifeguard honored for saving child

Adela Flores likely will never forget Christian Tenney.

Not after the 18-year-old lifeguard saved her 3-year-old daughter's life at Pasco's Memorial Pool last month.

Tenney, of Burbank, was working at the pool July 17 when he helped Eliana Pena of Pasco breathe by using CPR until medics arrived.

This week, he was honored by city of Pasco officials and Flores for his efforts to help Eliana.

On Monday, Flores told Tenney that he would always be in the family's hearts and minds. Eliana presented Tenney with a plaque from the family and gave him a hug.

The honor came as a surprise to Tenney, who said, "I thought I was just doing my job."

Tenney, who has worked as a city lifeguard for two years, said he was called over from working at the slides to help another lifeguard who had found Eliana floating belly-down in the kiddie pool where the water was about 3 feet deep.

Tenney sent the other lifeguard to call 911 and get the pool's manager while he administered CPR. Tenney admitted that was nerve-wracking, because it was his first time using CPR.

By the time the medics arrived several minutes later, Eliana was breathing on her own, he said.

And a week later, Eliana came with her mother to the pool to thank him in person, he said.

Rick Terway, city administrative and community services director, said it was the first incident of its kind since Memorial Pool reopened after the remodel in 2010. That's why Tenney's help at averting what city officials called a potential tragedy was recognized by the city.

Tenney, a recent Hanford High School graduate, is getting ready to start training for a career that seems apropos after last month.

Tenney, the son of Dave and Michelle Hare, said he plans to become a paramedic. He'll start studying at Columbia Basin College this year.

It's a career he said he chose in part because of his father, who is a captain with the Pasco Fire Department, and because he got into sport medicine during high school.