KPD awards residents for rescuing boy, 2, from septic tank drowning
By Tiffanie Reynolds
Seeing a neighbor’s child laying face down in an uncovered septic tank was enough for Kissimmee residents Edwin Pagan and Luis Durand to spring into action and ultimately save the
News-Gazette Photo/Marc Clery
From left, Kissimmee Police Cpl. Bruce Connors, Luis Rodriguez-Durand, Edwin R. Pagan and Kissimmee Police Chief Lee Massie at Kissimmee City Hall on Tuesday. Rodriguez-Durand and Pagan were give the Citizen’s Award by the Kissimmee Police Department for saving the life of a 2-year-old boy.
Kissimmee Police Department recognized their heroic efforts with the KPD Citizen’s Award during Tuesday’s Kissimmee City Commission meeting.
On April 24 at the Bermuda Mobile Home Park in Kissimmee, a 2-year-old boy stepped on an unsecure plastic septic tank cover and fell head first into the sewage. Hearing screams from the child’s babysitter, both Durand and Pagan ran out of their homes. With Pagan holding Durand’s feet, Durand dove head first into the tank and both pulled the boy out. They immediately began to perform CPR and brought him back to consciousness just as the fire department and police arrived.
“Instead of looking around not taking action, he just dives in, literally, calls for help, gets a buddy, and, because of their actions, we saved the life of a child. I think it speaks volumes about the type of citizens we have in our community. I can’t express enough of an appreciation,” said Kissimmee Police Department Chief Lee Massie.
Pagan, who was the first to arrive, was eating dinner in his home when his wife alerted him to the screams.
Durand was in his home working on a memorial photo for a friend who passed away that day when he also heard screams outside. After pulling the boy out, they noticed that he was completely unresponsive, and both were afraid that they came too late. Performing CPR was a desperate last attempt to save the boy’s life.
“I was hoping, because I didn’t see him breathing, I didn’t see no movement of the chest or anything like that,”
Pagan has been a neighbor and friend of the victim’s family for five years, and seeing their son almost to the point of drowning made him think of his own 2-year-old boy. He said that the memory of that day still gives him an adrenaline rush. Both men said they considered themselves lucky to be at the right place at the right time.
“I think if we haven’t gotten there any sooner, the septic tank would have just pushed him in and that would have been it,” said Pagan.
According to the Kissimmee Police Department report, when the fire department arrived, the child was flown to Arnold Palmer Hospital as a precaution. He has since fully recovered.