HEMET, Calif. -- Dramatic video captured the moment a quick-thinking first responder in Hemet ran to save his 1-year-old son who jumped into a swimming pool without a life vest.
The incident happened on Tuesday, May 16.
In a 40-second clip shared by the Hemet Firefighters Association, the boy named Cole is seen standing just a few feet away from his pool.
He then starts to take off his vest.
Cole's older sister is in the pool while his dad, Hemet firefighter Zachary Petite, is out of the frame, helping Cole's 4-year-old sibling.
In a matter of seconds, Cole starts walking around the pool. He then sits down on the edge and then gets in by himself.
"I look over and I can't find him and I ended up seeing him sinking to the bottom of the pool," recalled Petite. "So that's when I went over there, scooped him out, and got him out of the pool."
Petite, a father of three, is an engineer paramedic with the Hemet Fire Department. They respond to fires, medical calls, and other emergencies.
Despite being a trained first responder, he said it was actually his fatherly instincts that made him immediately jump into action at the sight of Cole sinking in the pool.
"For parents out there, if you got a pool, make sure it has a gate, a child safety lock, door alarms," said Petite.
Hemet Fire Capt. David Prietto said the father did everything right.
"Zach was right there. He was literally within arm's reach. He followed all the rules, he took all of the proper precautions, that is really the reason why his son lived," he said.
As for the 1-year-old, Petite said held his breath when he was underwater. Fortunately, he was ok when his father pulled him out of the pool.
Meanwhile, the Hemet Fire Department is using this incident to alert the community and stress the importance of pool safety.
"We can't stress it enough, it happened to engineer Petite and it can happen to anyone," said Hemet Fire Chief Eddie Sell. "Seconds do count."