CHICAGO (FOX 32) - A 5-year-old girl was discovered in the water at a beach in the city's South Shore neighborhood Tuesday, unresponsive. However, the actions of a girl much older are being credited for helping to save her life.
Kianti Champion was at the beach with family when she heard about a child in distress.
"We were packing up to leave when I heard the mother of the child yell 'help,'" said Champion.
It was about 8:40 p.m. when Champion and her family were at Rainbow Beach, celebrating her sisters birthday when she heard screaming.
"I told my mom, ‘hey mom, someone needs help, we need to go,'" said Champion.
The 5-year-old girl had been pulled from the water with no heartbeat. A single thought raced through Champion's mind as a crowd gathered to watch her perform CPR.
"I have to keep going, and my mom said 'do not stop,'" said Champion.
She was following the training she had learned at the Black Fire Brigade to a tee.
"Black Fire Brigade started a year ago to train kids for careers as paramedics and firefighters," said Lt. Quention Curtis, President of Black Fire Brigade. "One of the reasons we started this, the Black Fire Brigade, is to reduce the violence in the community. So our motto is: If you teach a kid to save a life, they'll be less likely to take a life."
The Black Fire Brigade is funded completely with their own money, and run out of a firehouse in Hyde Park.
"I guess when I saw the child, I'm like, 'this could be one of my siblings.' That's all I could think of," said Champion.
According to the Chicago Park District, there are no lifeguards on duty past 7 p.m., adding more questions to exactly how the child got into the water.
FOX 32 reached out to Chicago police who said those questions are part of an ongoing investigation.