5-year-old boy called a hero after saving his younger brother from drowning

The local fire districts awarded Winston Tosi for his bravery.

PARRISH, Fla. — In the heat of the moment, anyone can be a hero, no matter how old or young they are. 

On a sunny day in early June, firefighters from the North River and Parrish Fire Districts rolled into a Manatee County neighborhood with sirens blaring to honor 5-year-old Winston Tosi

Winston and his 2-and-a-half-year-old brother Zechariah went through quite an ordeal while outside playing at the end of May.

Zechariah told us what happened. “I fell in the creek.” 

Winston describes what happened next. 

“Zechariah fell in the water and when he got back up I catched him,” he said. “And when he got back up I caught him and then called for help.”

Their dad Greg Tosi said, “It was about a foot deep, but still. So Winston stood back up and reached down and grabbed his arms, pulled him up and held him above water long enough to yell for an adult to come help.”

North River Fire District Fire Chief Joe Sicking said this situation could have had a very different ending. 

“All too often these things don’t end up in a celebration,” Sicking said.  

But thankfully the whole neighborhood gets to celebrate young Winston. 

Mom Kristen is so proud of her kids. 

“We have 5 boys and they range from 7 and under and I would say he’s the one that stands back the most and doesn’t jump in right away,” she said. “But for him to jump in, it just made me so proud.”

Chief Sicking looks forward to seeing Winston again in the future. 

“And in about 15 years time, I would hope to see young Winston applying for the fire department,” Sicking said. “Because that’s the kind of heart we like to see in an organization.”

Winston got a plaque that day and the award of valor and some challenge coins from both fire districts. 

It’s important to note that all of Winston’s brothers are learning to swim, which is important for all young kids in Florida.