MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) -- The Madison Police Department is recognizing two citizens for saving a toddler from drowning. Chief Larry Muncey recently presented medals typically reserved for law enforcement officers to Oscar Garcia and Mark Savoie. Muncey said without their quick and selfless action, two-year-old Joshua Manon might not be here.
It happened Tuesday, July 21 at the Carrington Cove Apartment Complex in Madison, just after 6:00 p.m. Manon was at one of the site's pools swimming with his mother, brother and cousin, Oscar Garcia. Garcia moved there just two days earlier from the Dominican Republic.
Surveillance video from the complex shows Manon jump into the water, slip out of his inner tube and struggle to swim. To bystanders, he appeared to be playing, but he quickly disappears below the water's surface. It all happened in less than five minutes.
Mark Savoie, who lives in the complex, was also at the pool that evening with his family.
"I had just sat down," he said, "when I heard Josh's mother scream 'Where is he?'"
The video shows Garcia quickly scanning the area for his cousin.
"I walk around the pool and I saw a little bit of swimsuit," he said.
Garcia jumps in to pull Manon out and then Savoie rushes around the pool to help.
"As soon as he pulled him out, I was there and I started doing CPR," said Savoie. "It was the only thing I could think of doing."
He said he is not certified in CPR, but he learned the skills years ago from his parents. Those on the scene said it took 40 compressions before Manon finally took a breath.
"I'm just glad he's here and it worked out the way it did," said Savoie.
Soon after Manon begins breathing again, the video shows medical personnel arrive to take Manon to the hospital. After a two-day stay, he is now healthy and itching to go back to the pool. His father, Joscar Manon, who was out of town when the incident happened, said he is just grateful his youngest child is still alive.
"We have two angels," he said. "God let us keep the little one, but we gained a new family."
Both Garcia and Savoie said they do not consider themselves heroes. No offense to them, but it is likely that most people, including the Madison Police Department, will kindly disagree.
Carrington Cove Apartments is now planning to hold a "Safety Day" for its residents on August 15. The event will feature swimming lessons, as well as CPR training. The complex also wants to collect lifesaving devices, including various swimming floaties, to provide to its residents that cannot afford them. If you would like more information or you want to donate to the cause, contact the main office at 256-774-2828.