YUBA COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) – A Yuba County sheriff’s deputy was awarded the Bronze Medal of Merit Tuesday after saving the life of a young child in late May.
May 26 is a day Elizabeth Alverado will never forget, when her 1-year-old son, Leo, was found unresponsive in the shower of their Linda apartment.
“I felt like my heart was just dropping,” Alverado recalled. “I didn’t know what to do.”
Holding her unconscious son, Alverado waited outside where she expected an ambulance to arrive.
She was instead approached by Yuba County sheriff’s deputy Valentino Aguirre, who grabbed Leo and started to administer CPR.
“At that moment when I’d seen the sheriff, something in me just made me feel like, calm down, everything is going to be fine,” Alverado said.
Suddenly, just as paramedics arrived Leo regained consciousness thanks to Aguirre’s quick response.
For his heroism, Aguirre was awarded a Bronze Medal of Merit during an emotional ceremony Tuesday.
But Aguirre said the true prize was being greeted by the happy and healthy little boy he saved, along with his grateful family.
“I’ve been to many calls where the outcome was … it’s a similar call and the outcome wasn’t the same,” Aguirre told FOX40. “So I’m just thankful God put me in place that day and I was able to react the way I did and I saved that little boy’s life.”
Aguirre has been with the sheriff’s department for six years and was born and raised in Yuba County. He says his training and years of experience is what allowed him to remain calm and take care of the situation.