News 4 Lifesaver

Jul 26, 2012 9:00 PM

Firefighter and son are Lifesaver team

Tucson - The next time you're at a Tucson city swimming pool, you might want to look at the lifeguards. Chances are your lifeguard has heroism in his or her blood. Kristi's Kids and the News4 Tucson Lifesavers found a father-son duo that fits the bill.

Tucson Fire Captain Tony Gonzales and his 16-year-old son Anthony are true Lifesavers. Capt. Gonzales has been called to half a dozen drownings or near-drownings. Traumas that he's talked about at home. Tragedies that helped inspire Anthony to become a certified lifeguard.

Captain Gonzales says the drowning that affected him most was the death of a baby boy in a bucket. Six inches of water is all it takes. Gonzales tells Kristi's Kids "they don't have the strength to get back out. They fit perfectly inside it, whether they be feet first or head first."

Anthony has only been a lifeguard for two months. A month into it he had his first close call. He said, "A 4-year-old went into the deep end. I got off stand to make sure she was okay. She was struggling a little bit. I just pulled her to the side to make sure she was alright."

Both father and son say, you can't take your eyes off a child any time standing water is near. Inside or outside. In a swimming pool, a bucket, a toilet bowl or a bathtub. Know your surroundings. Otherwise, you may have Capt. Gonzales and his son stepping in. Anthony wants to join the military and become a doctor or a firefighter, like his Dad.

The Captain couldn't be more proud, telling Kristi's Kids, "he (Anthony) comes from a family that's public service first, and he's able to see, at an early age, that it's not about him. It's not about us. It's about others."

If you'd like to hire a lifeguard for a private party call the City of Tucson at 791-4245.

If you'd like to see the Tucson Fire Departments new PSA, on drowning prevention, click here:


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