TAVARES — Lake County Fire Rescue Lt. Shannon Bush was named Fire Officer of the Year at two recent events honoring the fire service.
Lt. Bush was lauded for saving a drowning toddler’s life last year during the Elks Lodge #1578 Annual Banquet on Feb. 22 in Eustis and the 2nd Annual Lake County Fire Rescue Awards & Recognition Ceremony on Feb. 12 at Lake Receptions in Mount Dora.
While on vacation with his family at an Orlando-area resort in May 2015, Lt. Bush was alerted to four-year-old Taylor Washburn lying at the bottom of the pool. The 14-year department veteran and EMT immediately jumped into action, performing CPR on the child, who was at the time, lifeless and unresponsive. After about two minutes, the little girl regained a pulse and started moving before being rushed to the hospital.
Lt. Bush has since kept in touch with the child’s family, who live in Ohio. They drove to Florida to attend the Lake County Fire Rescue Awards Ceremony and cheer on Lt. Bush as he was honored.
“I was truly blessed to have Taylor's family there. They are wonderful and loving family and Taylor has an amazing smile that makes everyone around her happy,” said Lt. Bush. “It was a surprise to receive the Officer of the Year award, and I feel very honored. There are a lot of great people that work for Lake County Fire Rescue. They do amazing things for the citizens and visitors of Lake County on a daily basis.”
Public Safety Director John Jolliff said that Lt. Shannon Bush is “a true testament to the concept that firefighters are never off duty.”
“Although I know he would shy away from being called a hero, his actions that day are nothing short of heroic, and will forever be remembered by the little girl he saved and the family he touched,” said Jolliff.
For more information about Lake County Fire Rescue, visit www.lakecountyfl.gov/firerescue, www.twitter.com/lakefirePIO or www.facebook.com/LakeCountyFireRescue.