Hometown Hero’s passion for being lifeguard highlighted after saving drowning girls

Hometown Heroes

Sixteen-year-old Anthony Jones trained to be a lifeguard at the Jewish Community Center

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – This week’s Hometown Hero jumped into action, saving the lives of two girls who were drowning while swimming at a Youngstown pool in July.

Two weeks ago, 16-year-old Anthony Jones’ life changed. The recently certified lifeguard was on duty at the North Side Pool when he saw two little girls struggling in the deep end.

“So I jumped in to save the two,” he said.

Without any hesitation.

Pool manager Kevin Tarpley couldn’t be more proud.

“These two young girls are going to remember this for the rest of their lives, and they’re going to remember him. I told Tony, ‘Your first rescue, you never forget it,'” Tarpley said.

Both Tarpley and Youngstown’s Director of Parks and Recreation Dawn Turnage remember watching Jones train at the Jewish Community Center just a few months ago to get his certification. They especially note the determination he had to pass the exam.

“He jumped into that water, he knew there was something to do. Somebody had to be saved and he took the necessary steps to make it happen. I’m so very proud of him,” Tarpley said.

“I commend him for his humbleness too in saving the lives of others at our pool. This is a career for him, a passion for him and it definitely shows daily when he comes to work,” Turnage said.

It’s that work ethic that Jones’ mom Shanelle Toney says she’s always seen and admired in her son.

“So when he decided that he wanted to be a lifeguard he knew that he would put everything that he had in him to accomplish it, and I knew it as well,” she said.

So when she heard Jones saved not one, but two little girls while on duty…

“You know, that just speaks to the level of commitment that Anthony has for the job,” Toney said.

Through it all, Jones has remained very humble and thankful for the support he’s received, from the Jewish Community Center to the North Side Pool to the community.

So when WYTV surprised him with the Hometown Hero Award, it was really no different.

“I’m not sure… I’m not sure what to say honestly. I’m grateful. Thank you so much,” Jones said.

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