When a 4-year-old boy was drowning, sheriff’s Sgt. Eldon Currey quickly gave the child two quick rescue breaths and rolled him over.
Water poured from the boy’s mouth and Currey checked his pulse.
“His heart was beating a mile a minute,” Currey recalled.
Currey gave the boy another rescue breath before handing the child over to paramedics and police officers. The boy survived.
To recognize Currey’s efforts, Sheriff Robert Arnold presented him the Lifesaver Award pin that the sergeant proudly wears on his uniform at his job at the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center.
The rescue occurred last July when Currey, his wife, Heather, and daughters Alia and Eliana, who was also 4, were vacationing in Pigeon Forge after Currey returned from serving in Iraq with the 278th Armored Combat Regiment. They were enjoying the pool when a woman screamed and pulled the boy from the water.
Currey was well-trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid because he taught those classes at the sheriff’s office. He immediately asked his wife to call 911 while treating the boy. Once in the ambulance, the boy began talking and recovered.
The sergeant credited his wife for helping save the boy’s life by calling 911 and getting emergency responders to take over treatment. The boy’s family gave Currey a card, the hotel gave the family free lodging and the Pigeon Forge Tourism Department donated free passes to the Titanic Exhibit.
During a roll call ceremony, Arnold talked to the second shift about an officer who performed a good deed.
“I was really surprised when he gave it to me,” Currey said. “I didn’t do anything anybody else would have done.”
He wears his pin proudly every day. He encouraged people to take American Red Cross CPR or other life-saving classes.
Currey said it was nice to be recognized by the sheriff but the “greatest reward is making sure that young man was OK.”