Polk County firefighter saves 1-year-old girl who was choking during Winter Haven Christmas Parade

A Winter Haven family got the chance to thank a quick-thinking off-duty firefighter for saving their one-year-old daughter's life. 

The incident unfolded on a float during the Winter Haven Christmas Parade as hundreds of spectators watched. One-year-old Elena began choking while on a float during the parade and Polk County firefighter paramedic Dustin Bovill jumped into action. 

Bovill said he was watching the Christmas parade with his family two weeks ago when he saw something concerning going down on one of the floats. 

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"A bunch of adults were huddled up in a corner," he said. "It is not normal when you see a bunch of adults getting to make a game plan."

The adults were surrounding Elena who had started choking and suddenly stopped breathing. 

"It was just a matter of time after closing her eyes that she was going to give up," said her mom Kerstin Brower.

Bovill jumped onto the float immediately to help. He hit Elena's back several times, forcing something to pop out. After that, she began breathing again. 

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Only weeks after the incident unfolding in the middle of the parade, Elena's family reunited with the firefighter paramedic. 

They met Bovill at Polk County Fire Station 21 in South Lake Wales where Bovill works. 

"Dustin you mean so much," said Kerstin as she choked up and hugged Bovill to thank him at the fire station.

Bovill got to give Elena a stuffed unicorn and her older brother even received a fire truck. The Browers gave the firefighter paramedic a plaque that reads "Not all heroes wear capes."