An off-duty Lower Hudson Valley police officer sprang into action after seeing a 4-year-old struggling for her life.

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Four-year-old Ella went into the pool while attending a friend's birthday party recently.

"She went on wedding cake stairs and promised not to leave the ladder. Ella never, ever leaves the ladder, even in a puddle jumper flotation device, tubes, etc bc she's petrified of the water. Until she did," Ella's mother, Carly Shaffer wrote on Facebook.

Ella noticed a doll floating in the water and dove towards it, her mother said.

"Alone. In water she couldn't stand in. And she couldn't swim. From far away, in the noise and chaos of many kids happily playing and adults laughing and chatting, I heard her cry out. Not much different than a cry of annoyance that told me maybe her brother took her shovel, or her sister took her ball. U know, the usual yells. But I just knew. I KNEW something was wrong. My heart was in my stomach as I was running to her, watching her bob up and down in the water, choking," Shaffer wrote.

Paul Munding, a Clarkstown police officer, a man who had just met Ella and her mother minutes ago, noticed Ella was struggling and immediately jumped in fully clothed to save her.

"She was taking in water and surely would have drowned. He drove in, fully dressed, shoes and all, over the side of the pool for a kid he didn't even know. A kid he's not related to. A kid he's never met. He saved my kid's life. And I have no idea how to ever thank this man," Shaffer said.

Shaffer posted of Munding and Ella on Facebook which has been shared over 1,000 times in just over 24 hours.

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