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Off-duty police officer saves toddler from drowning

A 2-year-old girl is alive today thanks to the lifesaving efforts of an off-duty police officer who came to the rescue.

Brian Wilson, with the Columbus, Ohio, police department, came running when he heard the terrified screams of his neighbor of five houses away.

MaryGiedeman,herboyfriendStephen Lopez, and their daughter Carmella had recently moved to Columbus and were staying at a friend’s house while they searched for their own home.

They had just returned from a grocery trip, and Giedeman let the dog out while she put away groceries. Within minutes, she noticed the house was too quiet, and she immediately went to check on her daughter.

She noticed the door she had opened to let the dog out wasn’t closed all the way, ran outside, and found Carmella floating in the pool.

'I dove in and I pulled her out and put her on the deck,' Giedeman said.

But Giedeman didn’t know how to do CPR, so she started screaming for help.

Wilson, who was off duty at the time, came running as other neighbors called 911, and began CPR on the little girl, who was not breathing.

“I was definitely worried,' Wilson said. “I've done CPR a few times in my career. That was the first time I've done it on a child. And quite honestly, just the way she looked, the way she felt, you know, she was very limp.”

As Wilson continued his efforts, Carmella finally vomited, and medics arrived and took her to the hospital, where she stayed a few days to be monitored.

Giedeman says she and Lopez are “forever grateful” to Wilson.

'We always say, ‘Brian saved her,’ but really in reality, he saved all of us because we would not be OK remotely ever if he hadn’t gotten there…if he hadn't showed up.'

Wilson said he refuses to accept that what he did was heroic.

“It's not anything special. It was something that I just happened to be there [for] at the time, and had some training.”

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