Tipton, Pennsylvania – Nineteen-year-old Makenna Murphy has been a lifeguard with the Laguna Splash Lifeguard Team at DelGrosso’s Park for 4 years.

On July 30th, 2022, after Makenna left work at the park, she stopped at Sam’s Club in Altoona. While driving into the parking lot, she noticed a group of people performing CPR on a patient near the gas pumps. She stopped and told them she was a trained lifeguard who knows CPR. The group welcomed her help, and she took over performing chest compressions. Makenna then assisted the Allegheny Township Police who arrived at the scene with an automated external defibrillator (AED) machine. The group continued with CPR care until the patient was taken to the hospital by AMED.

“As we know, time is of the essence when a person is in cardiac arrest. Ten minutes elapsed from the time of dispatch until an emergency unit arrived on scene. Makenna’s quick thinking to act with the training she has, without a doubt, saved a life that day and should be looked at as nothing less than heroic,” stated Allegheny Township Police Officer Richard Brant.

DelGrosso’s Park management is proud that Makenna used her Lifeguard training to help others. “We always discuss with our guards how the skills they learn in our program are lifelong skills that they can use anywhere or any time.Makenna experienced that firsthand,” says Elliott Geist, Director of Operations. “We hope the guards never have to use their skill set but feel confident in their ability to respond, when needed. Makenna was off duty and off-site but still stepped up when she saw someone in need,” added Geist. “When I saw what was happening, I knew I could help and wanted to help,” said Murphy. “I knew how to operate the AED and was able to relay important information with the paramedics. All the training I received gave me the confidence and ability to help,” said Murphy.

“We are proud of Makenna and wanted to recognize her for her community effort,” says Carl Crider Jr, President of DelGrosso’s Park & Laguna Splash. The Park awarded Murphy with a certificate of recognition.

Makenna Murphy

Hometown: Altoona

Currently Attending St. Francis University – Majoring in Political Science with a Pre-Law Concentration