November 13, 2008


(Lauderdale Lakes, FL) – Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti helps Akil Smith, 12, try on his new firefighter’s helmet at Lauderdale Lakes Middle School on Wednesday. Sheriff Lamberti presented the seventh-grader with the helmet and a certificate for his life saving actions in saving his two-year-old brother, who also has a twin sister.

On the afternoon of October 19th, Akil heard a noise outside the family’s home. When he looked out the window to investigate, he saw his little brother Amari floating in the pool. Without hesitation, Akil ran outside and jumped in the pool to rescue the pulseless tot. Akil also had the wherewithal to summon help during the rescue. Akil’s uncle responded and began CPR on the lifeless toddler. Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue crews quickly arrived and began advanced life support measures. By the time the rescue truck arrived at the Hospital, Amari had a pulse and was breathing with assistance.

Just six months ago, fellow seventh-grader Benji Cerni was recognized for his heroic efforts after pulling his three-year-old cousin Howard Vob from a murky pool and resuscitating the child. At the time, Sheriff Lamberti said, “Benji’s quick thinking and his actions should serve as an example to his peers that by doing something good, you are helping society.”  Benji’s actions clearly served as inspiration to Akil in a similar situation.

At left next to Akil is his mother, Antoinette Robinson, holding Amari. Also at the ceremony was Amari’s twin sister, Amaria. Several hundred students from the school attended the presentation.

Photo by Mike Jachles/Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue

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