Moab Valley Fire Department (MVFD) Chief Phillip Mosher became a firefighter to save lives — and on Friday, Aug. 28, he did just that at the Grand Oasis manufactured home community.
Mosher, a 19-year veteran of MVFD, was the first emergency personnel to make contact with a possible drowning victim, a 2-year-old girl who was unconscious and not breathing after being pulled from the Grand Oasis pool. Mosher arrived on scene within two minutes after Grand County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) was paged to respond to a possible drowning.
For Mosher’s effort — and dedication to his profession — Moab City Police Chief Jim Winder recognized him on Wednesday, Sept. 13 for quick action in saving the girl’s life.
During the ceremony, Winder acknowledged that barring Mosher’s quick arrival at Grand Oasis, the situation could have turned out far worse for the child and the family.
“I was in my office and I heard the radio crackle indicate that there was a child in a swimming pool,” Winder said. “I heard all of our units get on the radio and start heading in that particular direction. I heard our officers arrive and then I also heard them say there was already a unit on scene. It was not only a unit that had arrived, but also one that had assessed the situation and immediately begun CPR. Later, we determined that had [Mosher’s] unit not arrived on scene as fast as he did, it’s highly likely the child would have either died or been severely injured. Instead, what we have is a toddler that has experienced a complete recovery. To see the chief of a department make a response that quickly is pretty damn rare. On behalf of the City of Moab, we want to recognize chief Mosher [for his] life saving efforts.
Response time is everything
“I think this case is another example of perceptions about response times in rural [Utah] being slower than in the metropolitan areas, it’s completely not so,” Winder added. “While I listening to this call come out over the radio, I thought to myself, ‘oh no,’ and I rushed to get my equipment and get over there. But sure enough, I hadn’t even gotten to my car outside when I heard [Mosher] on the other end saying everything was okay. That rapid response avoided what otherwise could have been a tragedy of epic proportion.”
The child was reportedly being supervised by her aunt, who told investigators that she had been wearing a life preserver for the majority of the day, but that the child had removed the life vest due to not being in the pool for a substantial amount of time. At some point, near the steps of the pool, the child was discovered face down.
According to an MPD report, the child was pulled from the pool by nearby adults and CPR performed by the young girl’s aunt.
After Mosher attended to the child, who had thrown up, EMS arrived and were able to clear her airway. After doing so the child began to become alert and began crying. Once stabilized, EMS transported the victim to Moab Regional Hospital.
Mosher, a Moab native who graduated from Grand County High School in 1991, has been with the fire department since 1998, when he began as a volunteer firefighter. Over the years, he worked his way up through the ranks, serving as a lieutenant, a captain and a battalion chief. In 2007, he was hired by then-fire chief Corky Brewer to be the department’s full-time administrative assistant.
A mother says ‘thank you’
Molly McGann has been more than thankful over the past week — it was her daughter, Lochlyn Shannon — that was the young child rescued from the pool by her aunt, Kelly Caylor, and a friend Sarah Jane Mersereau, at Grand Oasis.
“It’s like nothing ever happened at all,” McGann said. “Now, more than a week later, [Lochlyn] is jumping into the bathtub and has no fear of water. I truly want to thank [Mosher] with all my heart. He saved my child and I am so very thankful for that.”
Lochlyn is also the granddaughter of MVFD firefighter Terry McGann, who recently retired after 30 years of service.