LAKE WALES, Fla. (WFLA) — The family of 1-year-old Elena Brower said they are grateful for the first responder that saved her life during a parade earlier this month.

The frightening incident occurred during the Havendale Christmas Parade while the family was riding on a float.

Elena was in a family member’s arms when people in the crowd alerted them and made them realize the baby girl was choking, and turning red.

Polk County Fire Rescue Special Operations Paramedic Dustin Bovill was attending the parade with his family during that time.

“It’s not normal when you have full-grown adults that are looking like they’re ready to make a game plan. Then, I see two little feet flying up in the air,” Boville said.

He jumped into action by getting onto the float and helping Elena clear her airway.

The reunion happened on Wednesday in Lake Wales. The family exchanged hugs and thanked Boville.

“Her life is just now getting started and he made sure that it was going to continue,” Kerstin Brower said.

The family presented Bovill with a plaque to thank him for his heroic actions. He brought gifts for the family as well, a stuffed pink unicorn for Elena and a toy firetruck for her brother.

Boville said whether it’s on or off-duty, first responders have their heads on a swivel.

“It’s just something you really don’t expect to get recognition for,” he explained. “You just do what you can.”

Brower said it is still unknown what caused her daughter to start choking the day of the parade. She also said Elena has been doing well at the moment but will have a check-up with her doctor later this month, as she has experienced minor choking spells in the past.