Being helpful often involves being available to respond immediately and being in the right location at the right time.
Some individuals, like Deputy Steven Jones, are trained for it, but some are inherently better at fusing those two aspects than others.
Jones, an Orange County Sheriff’s Office school resource officer in Florida, noticed an elderly man on his side in the water.
Orlando resident Daniel Waterhouse, 81, went missing the day before, sparking a hunt for the frail person.
“There is concern for Daniel Waterhouse’s well being as he may become lost or disoriented and does not have his prescribed medications,” a missing-persons flyer by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office showed.
Waterhouse was last seen sporting a black T-shirt and black shorts, and he was reported as having gray hair that reached his shoulders.
According to another Facebook post by the Sheriff’s Office, Jones had seen a male matching that description lying in a retention pond in West Orange County. Jones radioed in his discovery as he got closer to the man.
“OK, I found him,” Jones claimed, as shown in bodycam footage that the sheriff’s office ultimately made public. “I found him. He is in the water, and he’s moving.”
“Come on buddy. Come on. Gonna get you out the water.”
Another officer was waiting for Jones when he gingerly moved the man babbling gibberish onto the grassy bank.
Although Waterhouse was conscious enough to identify himself as “Dan,” it was obvious that he was in poor health. If Jones hadn’t found him at the time that he did, it’s impossible to say how long he would have survived.
“You’re going to be fine buddy, come on,” Jones says to the man.
“We’ve been looking for you buddy,” a different officer says.
“I’m glad we found you, man,” Jones said. “Thank goodness.”
As soon as backup came, Waterhouse was transported to the hospital.
The Sheriff’s Office also released a video of the rescue and a picture of the brave officer so that people may publicly thank him for saving him.
“Deputy Steven Jones found an 81-year-old man who had been reported missing in a retention pond in west Orange County,” the office put up. “There had been concern for the man, whose name is Daniel, after he left his residence without his medication.
“After pulling Daniel from the water, Deputy Jones and several more OCSO deputies waited with Daniel until Orange County Fire Rescue could transport him to a nearby hospital.”
While there is currently no public information regarding Waterhouse’s status, the sheriff’s office has stated that he is improving as a result of Deputy Jones’ quick thinking and astute observation.