MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Miami-Dade police officers are typically the people saving the day, but on Friday, the hero’s welcome at their promotion ceremony was for a young man in a different kind of uniform.
Wearing his McDonald’s shirt even on his day off, 22-year-old Pedro Viloria was honored for his quick-thinking when an off-duty Miami-Dade police sergeant pulled up to his drive-thru window and blacked out.
“It was plain to see she was not conscious,” Viloria told CBS4’s Lauren Pastrana. “I thought if I don’t do something right now, something really bad could happen.”
Video from inside the restaurant captured Viloria hopping through the window.
Another camera shows a pair of firefighters grabbing a bite at the McDonald’s, near Northwest 114th Avenue in Doral, jumping into action when they noticed the commotion outside.
“Training took over right away. All of our years, it was automatic,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lt. Lazaro Fernandez.
The firefighters received certificates of appreciation, along with several other McDonald’s employees and customers, and Doral officer Chantel Cubela.
“It’s overwhelming,” Officer Cubela said. “I’m not used to this attention. It’s honorable but we’re much more concerned and happy with the fact that she’s doing better.”
The Sergeant’s name has not been released but we are told she went into cardiac arrest and is still recovering at the hospital.
Police Director Juan Perez is grateful for everyone who stepped up to help.
“They took action in the face of chaos when they could have walked away. Their combined efforts of jumping through a window, performing CPR, using an AED and all the other life-saving measures, I strongly believe, and we know, saved a life,” Director Perez said.
“People need to see that we’re still human inside and we’re capable of helping others in emergencies,” Viloria added.
Viloria said the experience has reminded him of the value of helping people and inspired him to consider a career in public service.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said representatives from his office would be contacting Viloria to see about setting him up in the mayor’s office internship program.