Monday, April 5, 2010

CCSO Deputy Earns National Honors

Collier County Sheriff’s Office Cpl. William Pschigoda has earned the prestigious Purple Heart and Medal of Valor awards from the National Sheriff’s Association.

This is the first time a CCSO member has been the recipient of these awards.

The Medal of Valor is presented for an act of bravery in the line of duty at imminent personal hazard of life. The Purple Heart is awarded for being injured in the line of duty by an armed assailant.

Pschigoda, a 24-year veteran of the agency, has twice been seriously injured in the line of duty. On Dec. 5, 2006, while deploying stop sticks in the road to bring an end to a pursuit, he was intentionally hit by the fleeing driver. His life-threatening injuries included severe head trauma, a skull fracture, fracture to his facial bones, fracture to his knee and multiple deep lacerations.

During his long and miraculous recovery the community rallied to support him, conducting fundraisers for his family, sporting buttons with his photograph and making sure his infant daughter was taken care of during the holidays.

Cpl. Pschigoda demonstrated tremendous inner strength and perseverance as he recovered, enduring lengthy surgeries, physical therapy and cognitive testing. He returned to work on the 17-month anniversary of his injury.

On July 27, 2009, Cpl. Pschigoda was injured again – this time while on a burglary-in-progress call. The two suspects were fleeing, hitting several deputies’ vehicles in their attempt to run. As Cpl. Plchigoda initiated contact with them they pulled away, dragging him for two blocks. He suffered a concussion and cuts and bruises and was transported to a nearby trauma center. He returned to duty eight days later.

Throughout his career, Cpl. Pschigoda has consistently demonstrated dedication and commitment to his community. He is the recipient of six life-saving awards along with numerous other awards and recognitions.