More than 1,200 miles separate Collier and Key Largo, Fla., but the distance wasn't enough to separate township police Officer Daniel Elway from his training.
Mr. Elway, 39, who was in Florida in August on a scuba diving vacation, was sitting poolside when he heard a woman screaming as she struggled to pull an unconscious man in his early 50s from the hotel pool.
Instinctively springing to help, Mr. Elway helped pull the swimmer from the water.
"I wanted to see what was going on,"Mr. Elway said. "It was a quiet environment, so it was unusual to hear somebody scream."
It is believed the man had been under water for 3 or 4 minutes. He was blue and appeared not to be breathing. After checking for signs of breathing and a pulse, he administered chest compressions to the swimmer while a woman who identified herself as a physician performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
They worked on the man for several minutes before he began to aspirate, at which point Mr. Elway turned him on his side until paramedics arrived to transport the swimmer to a nearby hospital.
For his lifesaving efforts, Collier officials publicly commended Mr. Elway at their Oct. 10 meeting. Police Chief Tom Devin presented a commendation for valor certificate and commendation ribbon to the officer.
"We think about [using CPR] all the time and train for it, but it's different when you really do it," Chief Devin said. Mr. Elway said he was glad his knowledge helped save a life.
"He was so excited that he called his wife and then he called me," the chief said. Mr. Elway's wife, Amber, is a physician.
The officer said he was thanked by some of the hotel staff, including the hotel manager.
Mr. Elway has been on the Collier force since 2005.
Carole Gilbert Brown, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org