By Jill Fox
At the Coral Springs City Commission meeting on Wednesday, nine-year-old resident Yair “Andres” Soto was recognized for his lifesaving efforts after he sprung into action when his three-year-old cousin began to drown in a community pool.
Tonight’s award was a surprise for the third-grade student at Ramblewood Elementary School, as he wasn’t aware of the recognition he would be receiving. It was his father Lieutenant Yair Soto, who has been a firefighter for the City of Coral Springs for 12 years and Chief Eduardo Lopez of the Coral Springs Fire Department that sent it up the chain, before the city stepped in.
Andres’ heroic efforts began last September while his parents were away on a weekend vacation. Andres and his sister, Bryana, were staying with their cousins in Tamarac, and after spending the day at the community pool, the family, was preparing to leave when Andres’ cousin decided to take one more dip – however, this time without her floaties on. Before anyone else realized, Andres had jumped into the pool to pull the toddler to safety.
“He said, he jumped in, grabbed her by the hair and pulled her out of the pool,” said Yair.
Heroic acts are the norm for this family. Andres’ mother is a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurse at Joe DiMaggio.
After Yair returned from vacation, the first words his son uttered were, “Hey dad, I’m a hero like you,” and although confused at the time, he knows now that it’s true.
Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She is currently a Senior Account Director at Lon Haber & Co., a leading full-service public relations firm. Fox worked at NBC Miami for eight years after graduating from the University of Miami. She lives in Parkland with her husband, Brian and two children.