A Newbury firefighter who saved a two-year-old from drowning is hoping the story will highlight the importance of resuscitation training.
Oliver Parker was on holiday with his family in Dubai earlier this year when he saw the girl, called Erin, unconscious in a swimming pool.
Erin’s dad pulled her out but she had turned blue.
Quick-thinking Oliver managed to save her life by performing CPR.
After three minutes Erin’s eyes opened and she took a deep breath.
The toddler was taken to hospital and made a full recovery. Within days she was back on her feet as if nothing had happened.
On Saturday, dad-of-two Oliver was honoured for his actions by charity the Swimming Teachers’ Association (STA) with their Roll of Honour.
“At the time, in that split second, it was like everyone around the pool froze in time, in shock,” said Oliver.
“I’m not sure if it was my fire service training or the fact of being a dad that made me react so quickly, but it did really bring home to me that knowing what to do in an emergency and actually doing it are two totally different things.
“It will be a day I will never forget, and I was so pleased to see Erin when she returned from hospital playing as normal.”
Oliver’s story has inspired friends and family to learn CPR and first aid training.
He said: “I’ve been really surprised with the response nd I’m very proud to be recognised by the STA.
“If by sharing this story – which can truly happen to anyone – and showing the importance of CPR training and the immediate positive effects it can have on saving a life, then great. There have been two positive outcomes.”
The Roll of Honour is not given out lightly. It is only the eighth time in 17 years it has been awarded.
Oliver was presented with the honour by STA president Richard Timms.
He said: “I’m personally very proud to honour Oliver on behalf of the STA.
“As he rightly said, faced with a terrifying split-second situation like this, especially with a child, panic can set in for even the bravest.
“But thankfully Oliver didn’t panic, and his quick thinking and actions that day saved this young girl’s life.
“We have also been equally touched by the ripple effect of this story.
“Oliver has inspired others to get CPR training – a vital lifesaving skill that we believe everyone should learn. He is fully deserving of this honour.”