A 12-year-old Wisconsin girl is alive today because her teammates took a course in CPR and used their lifesaving training when her heart stopped while she was in the pool.
The four rescuers say it took teamwork to get Marissa Metzler out of the water and onto the deck so they could begin to put what they learned to the test.
The kids are all members of a team that spends nearly every day through the River Falls Swim Club. For years, they've been focused on racing against their opponent, but just a few weeks ago they had a race against time.
Metzler was working on leg strengthening exercises with a kickboard when 15-year-old Becca Thomas, who is a trained lifeguard, looked over and saw her teammate was chest-up in the water and was unconscious.
"I guess I didn't think, at that point. I went, swam over there and grabbed her," Thomas told FOX 9 News. "Pulled her back."
From then on, it was a true team effort. Through a twist of fate, all three of the teammates had gone through CPR training over the summer, but none of them thought they would need to use their skills so soon.
"Actually doing it on somebody is crazy," Thomas recalled.
Once Metzler was out of the water, 14-year-old Jon Heiniger began chest compressions while his mother, Sonja, did the mouth-to-mouth portion of the rescue. Meanwhile, 15-year-old Ben Heiniger ran for the AED. All of that took place within a minute.
"It was not a chaotic situation," Sonja Heiniger told FOX 9 News. "These kids calmed me down."
Once the AED was ready, Ben Heiniger had to shock Metzler.
"It was a little difficult trying to get around the thought of it, but it has to be done so it was an instantaneous reaction," he said.
It took two shocks for Metzler to come around.
"It was extreme relief," Heiniger said. "I was just so glad she was okay."
Metzler didn't want to speak on camera, saying the focus should go to her friends, but her mother said the family knows she was given a gift and a second chance.