ALBERTA

Chelsea Cunningham, Sundre Woman, Saves Little Girl From Septic Tank In Arizona

01/15/2014 01:06 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:56 EST

The rescue of a two-year-old from a septic tank in Arizona has earned a Southern Alberta woman an award for her heroism.

Chelsea Cunningham of Sundre was visiting a farmer's market in Maricopa, AZ. Saturday morning, when she watched a young girl fall into a septic tank and begin drowning in the sewage.

According to the Canadian Press, the little girl had been chasing her dog, when she stepped on the tank's cracked cover and fell in.

Two men quickly jumped into the two-metre deep waste, swimming around until they could feel the girl's hair, and pulled her out, reports Global News.

Cunningham, despite a lack of medical training, used CPR to recover the girl's breathing.

She looked clean enough to me, clean enough to live,” Cunningham, 28, told the Sun, adding she didn't think twice about giving the girl CPR, despite her being covered in waste.

The girl and her rescuers were reunited during a ceremony Tuesday, where Pinal Country Sherrif Paul Babeu honoured the three heroes with a Life-Saving Award.

“These three heroes risked their own safety to intervene and save the life of a complete stranger who happened to be a young child,” Babeu said, according to Global News.

“Had it not been for these three heroes, the young child would have certainly died.”

Cunningham, a mother of three, told the Canadian Press her quick thinking was an influence of her father, who insisted she learn first aid growing up.

"I don't remember a whole lot about after that point. I just know that there are some things that I've learned that came in handy," she said.

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