• Firefighter, state trooper on vacation save little girl from drowning in Daytona Beach pool

    By: Kevin Williams , Michael Lopardi


    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Right place; right time.

    Daytona Beach police say two first responders vacationing from New York saved a 3-year-old girl from the deep end of a hotel swimming pool. 

    Matthew Colwell, a New York state trooper, and a Jessica Campeta, a Hudson, N.Y. firefighter, were staying at the La Quinta Inn on International Speedway Blvd on Tuesday.

    Around 5 p.m., police got a call about a child possibly drowning in the hotel pool.

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    Police said Hudson and Colwell had retrieved and revived Zhamiyah Gibson before paramedics arrived.

    "She was face down -- not breathing," Campeta said. "(I) got her out. (I) was able to get some water, fluids out of her to get her to start breathing."

    Zhamiyah was taken to Halifax Hospital for treatment and is expected to make a full recovery, police say. 

    Read more: Children may face drowning danger 24 hours after hitting the pool

    Colwell said he hopes anyone else would have done the same thing.

    "I was worried about the other kids -- what they were seeing," Campeta said. "(I was) trying to get her conscious and breathing again on her own."

    Zhamiyah, who lives in Daytona Beach with her family, told police she doesn’t remember how or why she ended up in the pool because she is afraid of the water.

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