Collier Township police Officer Dan Elway was just minding his own business enjoying the last day of his vacation by the swimming pool in Florida earlier this summer when he heard a woman start to scream nearby.
Elway immediately jumped into action and helped pull the woman's fiancé out of the water at the pool in Key Largo. The man wasn't breathing, so Elway did what he was trained to do: He started administering CPR.
It was the first time he'd used that training in 10 years of being a police officer.
"He was blueish-grey, no breathing, no pulse,” Elway said. “I checked him for about 10 seconds and he didn't have a pulse so I began CPR. I did it for about two minutes and it didn't look good, so I just kept going until the paramedics arrived.”
It looked bleak for several moments until…
“All of sudden, he started to breathe,” Elway said. “I checked him after that and his pulse came back."
The man was in stable condition in a local hospital when Elway left Florida for home the next day.
“It gave me confidence that CPR does work,” he said. “There were about three or four other people standing around, but no one else was CPR qualified, so I started."
The Collier Township Board of Commissioners presented Elway with a commendation Wednesday night for his efforts. Elway says he's honored by the gesture.
"I guess it's a cliche, but it's just our job, it's what we do," Elways said. "It's nice to be recognized for things because most of the time the job is thankless and you don't recognized for things, so it's nice."
Elway said he was in Key Largo for a few days of scuba diving. His wife had stayed home with their 11-month-old child and gave her blessing to the short trip because diving is his passion.
Elway thinks it's ironic that she wasn't there: His wife is a physician, but he is the one who did CPR to save a man's life.