Off-duty Florida deputy saves 4-year-old from drowning

Photo courtesy Bay County Sheriff's Office

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WFLA) — A good Samaritan and an off-duty sheriff’s deputy are being credited with saving a 4-year-old girl from drowning on her birthday.

Cpl. Jeff Haire with the Bay County Sheriff’s Office was at a park with his family Sunday afternoon when he noticed a man carrying a young girl out of a pool and calling for help. Haire ran over and learned the man had pulled the little girl from the bottom of the pool. He believed she was underwater for a few minutes.

There was no pulse on the girl when Haire checked, so he started to perform CPR with help from lifeguards.

Haire finally felt a faint pulse shortly before the little girl began to cry. He then picked her up and ran her to emergency medical personnel.

The girl’s distraught family members met Haire and identified the child as Davieonna Howard. The family said they were at the pool to celebrate the girl’s fourth birthday.

Davieonna was taken to a nearby hospital where she is in good condition. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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