VIDEO: Eight-Year-Old Girl Named Citizen of the Year for Saving Toddler from Drowning

An eight-year-old Florida girl who saved a toddler’s life was recently given the Orange County Sheriff’s Office’s (OCSO) Citizen of the Year Award.

Arianna Hunter was in Orlando for a cheerleading competition when the incident occurred in 2019, according to Fox 35.

She was in a float playing in the hotel pool when she spotted a child face down in the water.

Although she did not know how to swim at the time and was not taught what to do during an emergency such as that one, Arianna took action.

“I know that whenever you see somebody you want to make sure they’re okay,” she explained.

Arianna immediately flipped the child over, brought her to the edge of the swimming pool, and called to adults nearby for help. The adults performed CPR and after deputies arrived, the child was revived.

“I mean it’s unbelievable. I’m sure there are adults that may freeze up in situations like that and seeing her do this, you know, it’s unbelievable,” OCSO Sergeant Menachem Green commented.

According to Green, the sheriff looks for individuals who embody the spirit of the department when deciding on an award recipient.

The OCSO congratulated Arianna and shared a photo of the ceremony on April 29:

Congratulations to 8-year-old, Arianna Hunter, who just received our Citizen of the Year Award for saving a small child who was drowning in a hotel pool.

Posted by Orange County Sheriff's Office, Florida on Thursday, April 29, 2021

Her family drove six hours to attend the ceremony where she received the award, a plaque, and also shook Sheriff John Mina’s hand.

“I couldn’t miss that for the world. We had to go for that one,” noted Alan, her dad. “The fact that she could understand that somebody needed help and flipped her over and brought her to an adult, that was amazing.”

Arianna, who will soon begin swimming lessons and plans to be a doctor when she grows up, accepted the award with a humble attitude.

“It’s just something that everybody should know what to do, I mean it’s not like a special thing,” she said.


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