LAFD firefighter honored for saving 4-year-old girl from drowning while on vacation in Hawaii

WESTCHESTER, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Firefighter and paramedic Daniel Harris was honored by the Los Angeles Fire Department in Westchester earlier this week for saving the life of a four-year-old girl while he was on vacation in Maui.

Harris was at a hotel pool in Maui in August when he learned Sophia Rouse wasn't breathing.

She was being watched by relatives, but they lost sight of her and she ended up in a pool that was too deep for her.

"When I got to her, she was completely blue and didn't have a pulse," Harris said. "So, I started resuscitating her. After a few minutes of resuscitating her, I started feeling a heartbeat, and then she started breathing."

Sophia was hospitalized for a few days, but recovered from the incident.

When Sofia's family learned Harris was being honored for his heroic acts, they flew from Maui to Los Angeles for the ceremony.

"We feel like he's just Sophia's hero and angel, and we just really wanted a chance to give him a hug and say thank you in person and give him a lei," Sophia's mom, Kandice Johns, said.

Harris said he wasn't expecting to use his life-saving skills on vacation, but is thankful he was in the right place at the right time.

"With our job we take it for granted that we do get to save lives, we never get to see the ripple effect," Harris said. "Today, I got to see the ripple effect, it was nice."
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