Couple Who Saved Girl From Electrocution Recognized

News Staff


The Palm Springs Fire Department recognized the heroic efforts of an off-duty doctor and his nurse wife for saving the life of a nine-year-old girl shocked in a swimming pool on Easter Sunday. 

Dr. James Stockdill and his wife Debra Stockdill were playing golf when the incident happened. 

"The most important thing I think for us is that hopefully we’ve set an example to other citizens to intervene and do what they can in case of emergencies such as that we experienced last Easter," said Dr. Stockdill. 

The couple were stopped by a little girl who was yelling at them to help her family. 

When they arrived at the scene they found the 9-year-old girl and her father in cardiac arrest and immediately began performing CPR. Although the girls father died from electrocution, the little girl and five others who were swimming that day survived.

"The sooner that intervention occurs the better the outcome for the patient and were very fortunate in this case that the Stockdill’s were able to be there and intervene with CPR so that this little 9-year-old girl had a chance to survive, and I understand she is doing very well at this time," said Fire Chief J. Kevin Nalder of the Palm Springs Fire Department.

Police and fire authorities said faulty wiring was to blame for the electrocution that day. Certified electricians say to have your pool inspected on a yearly basis and keep an eye out for open junction boxes, exposed wiring and broken conduits.  

Fire officials say that a basic knowledge of CPR can save a persons life.

"The heart is a pump. If it’s not pumping on its own, CPR is to cause that body to continue pumping. So when you’re pressing on the chest you’re creating that pumping mechanism if the heart is not doing it on it’s own," said Anjila Lebsock of the Palm Spring Fire Department. 

Dr. Stockdill said knowing the process of performing CPR is something that could come in handy when you least expect it.

"We were in the middle of a golf game and you just never know when those CPR skills are going to be necessary," said Dr. Stockdill. 

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