Thursday, May 19, 2016

7 Collier Deputies Honored As Lifesavers

Seven Collier County Sheriff’s Office deputies were honored Thursday for bringing people back to life after sudden cardiac death.

The deputies were among more than 75 local first responders recognized with Phoenix Awards during a special ceremony held by the Collier County Emergency Medical Services Department at the Emergency Services Center, 8075 Lely Cultural Parkway, East Naples.

Emergency response personnel from Collier County EMS, CCSO and the county’s fire departments, received awards for the 11 patients resuscitated over a six-month period in 2015.

Named after the mythological bird that died and rose renewed from the ashes, the Phoenix Award is given to first responders who brought back to life, through their highly trained efforts, patients who were clinically dead, with no heartbeat or breathing.

Sheriff Kevin Rambosk presented the awards to the seven deputies.

The following CCSO deputies were honored:

Cpl. John Knowlton and Dispatcher Courtney Ewart. On July 30, 2015, Dispatcher Ewart answered a 911 call and coached the caller in CPR on a 25-year-old male patient in North Naples until Cpl. Knowlton arrived. Cpl. Knowlton continued CPR until paramedics arrived and took over treatment. The patient regained a pulse and respirations while on scene. He was discharged from the hospital the same day.

Cpl. Brian Sudano. On Sept. 21, 2015, Cpl. Sudano provided lifesaving assistance in the care of a 90-year-old Golden Gate Estates man who fell over and was unconscious with abnormal breathing until EMS arrived. The patient was discharged from the hospital a week later.

Cpl. Jonathan Warford. On Oct. 5, 2015, Cpl. Warford responded to a medial call of a 78-year-old woman who was unconscious and had difficulty breathing in North Naples. She had heart problems and was home alone. Cpl. Warford assisted until EMS arrived and took over. The patient was discharged from the hospital nine days later.

Deputy Robert Reuthe. On Oct. 24, 2015, Deputy Reuthe responded to a call of a possible overdose in Golden Gate. The 26-year-old female victim was breathing but had no pulse. After securing the scene, Deputy Reuthe noticed that the victim had stopped breathing and immediately began chest compressions until the victim gasped for breath. She once again went into respiratory distress and had no pulse. Cpl. Reuthe continued to provide chest compressions until firefighters/paramedics arrived. The patient was discharged from the hospital four days later.

Deputy Alexandre Silva. On Dec. 17, 2015, Deputy Silva responded to a medical call at an East Naples RV park. The victim was found unresponsive in a tight hallway. An automated external defibrillator (AED) was used and CPR administered until paramedics arrived and took over treatment. The patient was discharged from the hospital five days later. 

Cpl. Bruce Austin. On Dec. 18, 2015, Cpl. Austin assisted in the care of a 62-year-old man who had collapsed at home in Golden Gate. The man didn’t have a pulse and was not breathing. Cpl. Austin performed CPR until he detected a pulse and observed the man take a couple breaths. Paramedics arrived and took over medical care. The man was discharged from the hospital the next day.
CCSO takes the job of lifesaving seriously.

Thanks to a partnership with the American Heart Association, all CCSO patrol cars are equipped with an AED, a portable device that applies electrical therapy to patients in cardiac arrest and allows the heart to re-establish an effective rhythm.

Since 2012, CCSO has partnered with Collier County EMS/Fire Rescue in an information system to assist 911 dispatchers in helping callers locate AEDs near sudden cardiac arrest victims.

CCSO also offers free CPR and AED training to the community.

The agency provides free "hands-only’’ cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and AED training to homeowner groups and any member of the community who would like to learn how to save a life. The classes follow the American Heart Association’s CPR curriculum. The time it takes to teach the classes varies, depending on the level of certification being sought.

Community members or groups that would like to learn basic hands-only CPR should contact Cpl. William Pschigoda at (239) 252-9448, or to set up a class date and time. Classes are free.

Additional classes are also taught by other local American Heart Association instructors. These instructors are available through Collier County EMS, any of the fire agencies in Collier County as well as the education department at NCH Naples Hospital.