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Off-Duty PCFR Member Saves a Child’s Life

Published on Dec 5, 2022

Bartow, Fla. (December 5, 2022) – An off-duty Polk County Fire Rescue (PCFR) member saved a child’s life on Friday, Dec. 2.

While PCFR Driver/Engineer Dustin Bovill and his family were enjoying the Havendale Christmas Parade on Friday evening, Bovill observed that a child riding on a float was having a medical emergency near the intersection of Havendale Blvd NW and 34th St. NW. Bovill quickly jumped onto the moving parade float and began to render aid.

Bovill cleared the child’s airway, ultimately saving the child’s life. Bovill rode on the float with the patient and the patient’s family until the float reached the end of the parade route. Bovill was then able to transfer care to a PCFR Rescue Truck that was standing by. The patient was transported to a nearby hospital.

“While I was watching the float pass by, I saw the father’s expression as he looked up from the float and I knew that something was not right,” Bovill said. “After I saw the child’s father, I jumped onto the moving float in order to assist in anyway that I could.”

Bovill has worked for Polk County Fire Rescue since 2014. He began his career as a Firefighter/EMT before being promoted to a Driver/Engineer position in 2018. Bovill has also been a member of the division’s special operations team since 2015.

“Driver/Engineer Bovill’s instinct to jump in and assist a citizen in need demonstrates our member’s readiness to serve whether they are on and off-duty,” said Polk County Fire Rescue Chief Hezedean A. Smith, D.M. “Bovill’s actions and the care he provided to the child in need is something we are very proud of here at Polk County Fire Rescue.”