‘Right place, right time:’ Orlando officer honored for saving toddler’s life

Child was struggling to breathe after crash

‘Right place, right time:’ Orlando officer honored for saving toddler’s life
‘Right place, right time:’ Orlando officer honored for saving toddler’s life

ORLANDO, Fla. – There’s no memorial set up on the corner of Silver Star and Pine Hills roads; Orlando police officer Curtis Neraasen prefers it stay that way.

In August, the four-year veteran officer with Orlando Police Department described how he stumbled upon a crash while helping handle a different investigation and noticed a 15-month-old baby struggling to breathe.

Neraasen said he administered basic life-saving techniques to open the child’s airway while waiting for EMTs to arrive.

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“Just happened to be the right place, right time,” he said. “Hearing that infant cry and hearing her fighting for air, there are things that just don’t leave you. And that’s definitely one of the things that won’t.”

Dr. Donald Plumley with Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital was the on-call surgeon that night.

“We all are called upon to do our job, but this is something above and beyond your job,” Plumley said. “These are like second reflexes to people. It was the ability for Officer Neraasen to instantly react in a situation where you didn’t have five or 10 minutes to spare. You probably had a minute plus or minus to save this child’s life and that made all the difference in the world.”

Plumley presented Officer Neraasen with the hospital’s Pediatric Life-saving award during a ceremony Tuesday.

Officials said the 15-month-old, named Miracle, is doing well after the crash.

“You have demonstrated the honor of wearing a badge,” Orlando police Chief Orlando Rolon said during the ceremony. “It goes to show how many different hats an officer must wear.”

About the Author:

It has been an absolute pleasure for Clay LePard living and working in Orlando since he joined News 6 in July 2017. Previously, Clay worked at WNEP TV in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he brought viewers along to witness everything from unprecedented access to the Tobyhanna Army Depot to an interview with convicted double-murderer Hugo Selenski.