Six Collier County Sheriff’s Office deputies – including five 911 dispatchers - were honored Monday with awards for their life-saving efforts this year.
Cpl. Kevin Ward and emergency medical dispatchers Michael Haburjak, Nancy Carroll, Julie Becker, Shaunna Varaly, and Sharon Gallo, received CCSO Life Save awards.
Sheriff Kevin J. Rambosk presented the awards during a monthly ceremony to recognize employees within the agency for their years of service, for extraordinary achievements and performance, and for life saving and acts of gallantry.
Here’s a look at the deputies and their life-saves:
* Dispatcher Nancy Carroll and Cpl. Kevin Ward teamed up to help save the life of an 83-year-old man who had collapsed at his home in East Naples on Jan. 23.
Carroll was working in the CCSO Communications Center when she fielded the call shortly after 7 p.m. The man was unresponsive and not breathing.
Carroll immediately instructed the caller on the proper way to administer chest compressions. The six-year CCSO veteran was persistent with the caller, recognizing that each time the caller began to cry that she had lost focus on the instructions. Carroll would get the attention of the caller and have her start compressions again
Carroll kept the caller focused on the task at hand until Ward arrived at the residence, according to the application nominating Carroll for the award.
As the first responder on scene, Ward took control of the situation and initiated CPR for several minutes until paramedics arrived. The man regained his pulse and began to breathe on his own before being transported to the hospital.
Paramedics at the scene lauded the 11-year CCSO veteran’s quick and decisive action, according to the nomination form.
* Dispatcher Shaunna Varaly helped save the life of a 1-year-old girl who nearly drowned in North Naples on Feb. 24.
The caller told Varaly that family members were attempting to perform CPR on the child after she briefly slipped away and fell into the pool.
Varaly immediately gave instructions on how to properly perform CPR. The three-year CCSO veteran did an excellent job of staying focused and keeping the callers focused until deputies arrived, according to the nomination application, according to the nomination form.
The child’s pulse returned and she was taken to the hospital.
* Most days Cpl. Mike Haburjak can be found investigating crimes in the Financial Crimes Bureau.
But on March 29 the 12-year CCSO veteran was working a shift in dispatch around 7:15 p.m. when he fielded a call about a diner who was choking on a piece of food at a North Naples country club restaurant.
The caller told Haburjak that people were administering the Heimlich maneuver on the 77-year-old woman, but they didn’t appear to know what they were doing.
Haburjak sent the caller over to the other caregivers with the proper instructions on administering the Heimlich.
The woman was breathing and talking by the end of the call.
* The woman on the other end of the phone was hysterical when dispatcher Julie Becker fielded the call Feb.28.
The woman thought her husband might have had a stroke or was choking; she wasn’t sure. He wasn’t conscious or breathing.
Becker, an 11-year CCSO veteran, did a good job of trying to determine if the man was actually choking or breathing. When all else failed, she instructed the caller on how to administer chest compressions, which may have made all the difference between life and death for the man, according to the nomination form.
Not only did the man have a pulse when paramedics arrived, he was moaning while his wife administered chest compressions, which showed signs that he was improving, the nomination form stated.
* Dispatcher Sharon Gallo did a great job keeping a caller focused on saving the life of a 77-year-old man who was choking in East Naples on March 9.
The man lost consciousness and began convulsing during the phone call. Gallo kept the caller focused and gave good instructions on how to properly administer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and chest compressions.
The man was breathing and talking by the end of the call.
“I thought I lost him,” the caller told Gallo when paramedics arrived.
“No, you saved him,” Gallo said. “You did an awesome job.”