GNTC Police Officer Receives Lifesaver Award

  • Monday, June 10, 2024

A Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) police officer has been recognized for his quick actions that saved a 4-year-old boy from drowning.

Sgt. Bruce Franks said he and his wife Kayla, a GNTC Police lieutenant, attended an Easter egg hunt and party for children at a friend’s house. As the couple unloaded supplies from their truck, Kayla Franks noticed a small child face down, not moving, in a swimming pool on the property.

“When I heard a panicked scream from Kayla, I sprinted to the pool,” Bruce Franks said. “I immediately jumped into the pool, swam over to the child and pulled him out of the water.”

The boy, a guest at the party, was unresponsive and had no pulse. The Franks were the only adults outside at the time of the incident. Bruce Franks said he began CPR immediately while his wife ran to get additional help.

Kayla Franks said lack of cell service prevented her from calling 911; however, the homeowner was able to call 911 with a different cell phone. Kayla Franks coached the homeowner to remain calm as she spoke with the dispatcher and relayed that CPR was in progress.

Kayla Franks estimated the child had been without air for two to three minutes.

Two other individuals at the event also helped. Corrine Roberson, a nurse friend of the Franks, gave rescue breaths while Matthew Kumnick, a detective at the Dalton Police Department, helped perform CPR, Bruce Franks said. CPR was performed for about two to three minutes until the boy’s pulse returned and he began breathing on his own.

Kayla Franks helped reassure the child’s relatives until first responders arrived about 10 minutes later and transferred the boy to the hospital, Bruce Franks said.

“I was very happy to hear that the boy was released from the hospital 24 hours later with no apparent long-term issues,” Bruce Franks said.

Dalton Police Chief Cliff Cason recently commended Bruce Franks for his actions by presenting him with the Dalton Police Department’s Life Saving Award.

Cason praised Bruce Franks for his “willingness to act knowing there were likely life-threatening injuries and potential hazards” in the letter accompanying the award.

“Your actions reinforce the values and mission of our profession in that we aim every day to provide a safe environment with professional quality police services,” Cason noted.

“I want to commend Bruce and Officer Kumnick for their heroic actions in saving this young boy’s life,” said GNTC Police Chief Chad Cardin. “Bruce wasted no time on jumping in that pool and starting life-saving procedures.”

Cardin praised Kayla Franks’ vigilance in spotting the child, getting help and maintaining control of the scene until first responders arrived.

“If not for the actions of Kayla, Bruce and Officer Kumnick, this Easter gathering could have had a tragic ending,” Cardin said. “We are very fortunate at GNTC Police to have both Bruce and Kayla on our team.”

“I am thankful for my 17 years of experience and training in law enforcement and being in the right place at the right time, which allowed me to take quick action to save a young child’s life,” Bruce Franks said.

“Bruce’s quick actions that day saved a young life, and I couldn’t be prouder to call him my husband and my real-life hero,” Kayla Franks said. “I’m also thankful we were with our incredible group of friends, many of whom are also first responders and in the medical field. This near-tragedy had a happy ending because everyone played their roles perfectly.” 

As the summer months approach, Kayla Franks reminds adults always to keep children in sight and to be mindful of bodies of water and other potential dangers. It only takes a few seconds for a child to wander out of view.

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