Boca Raton Fire Department honors civilians, promotoes firefighters

Annual courage awards handed out
Posted at 7:30 PM, Sep 29, 2016

An off duty lifeguard was in the right spot at the right time. Today, Boca Raton fire rescue honored Kevin Hughes for saving a two-year-old from drowning.

It was all part of the annual awards and promotion ceremony.

Hughes was hanging out at his community pool with his son on June 28. All of a sudden, he heard screaming. A 2-year-old girl was unconscious in her mother’s arms. Hughes said he got into the zone and started doing CPR while someone called 911.

Hughes was able to revive the girl before paramedics made it to the pool.

“She started screaming and crying,” Hughes remembered. “The mom was a little worried about her crying, and I was like that’s okay, crying is what we need.”

“We’re very grateful he was there that day and provided the care until our units arrived,” added Assistant Fire Chief Mike LaSalle.

Fire Chief Tom Wood gave Hughes the department’s Citizen Courage Award.

Wood also gave the award to Fire-Rescue employee John Patfield. He came across a car crash on Yamato Road in August. The former Ohio firefighter, who now services Boca’s fleet, sprung into action; jumping into a canal to rescue one person.

11 firefighters were promoted at the ceremony, filling captain, lieutenant and driver positions left open through retirements.

One of those retirements came today. The final roll call for Captain Randy Lowe took place this morning.

He spent 35 years with the Boca Raton Fire Rescue Services department. Now, he says he’ll travel and sail.