ONLY ON: Nassau County Firefighter swims past alligator to save a man from drowning


Time is always of the essence and on Friday, Nassau County firefighter Joshua Berglin didn’t have much to waste. He made a heroic, life-saving effort after seeing a truck submerged into a pond by jumping into action, the water and past an alligator to save a man’s life.

He described the entire moment only to Action News Jax; while he did the unthinkable, he said it’s just part of the job.

“Pull up dive in, I didn’t think twice about it,” he said.

On the drive back from a routine call, Berglin and his partner saw a group of people standing near a pond off Dunn avenue, they pulled up to find the truck submerged into water with just its tail-end sticking out and someone on the inside.

“Someone was in there--when we found that out it was ‘get in and get him out,’” Berglin said.

Without hesitation, Berglin jumped in.

“I’m hearing ‘there’s a gator, there’s a gator’ just bailing in the water, swim past him,” Berglin said. “Go in and grab a hold of the guy and try to get him out of there as quick as possible, he’s bobbing his head underwater, having a hard time staying afloat.”

In a span of roughly two minutes, Berglin said he swam through murky water, past an alligator, and grabbed hold of the man.

“He was floating in-between both driver seat and passenger seat,” Berglin said. “Thankfully, his windows were open, so I reached in grabbed a hold of his arms and just pulled to try and get him out.”

Boots full of water, but a smile on his face - Berglin answered the call.

“If someone needs help, I’m just going for it, you know?” Berglin said.

Berglin told Action News Jax the man is expected to be okay. Once they got him onto land, JFRD brought him to a local hospital. Berglin, 26-years-old, said he’s always wanted to be a firefighter and had no problem putting his own safety aside to save a man’s life.