Five Florida deputies honored

(PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla.) -- Four Palm Beach County sheriff's deputies and a sergeant were honored on Oct. 26 for their courage and heroism with the Palm Beach County Law Enforcement Foundation's prestigious Life Saving Award.

The award, presented along with a medal by Sheriff Robert Neumann at the Sheraton West Palm Beach, is given to officers who have demonstrated "competent and expedient action, which is directly responsible for a saving a human life. . . ." Since its inception in 1997, eight officers have been honored.

The circumstances surrounding each award often called for a combination of bravery, quick reflexes, and sheer chance.

Deputy Jeff Madine pulled a victim from the front of a vehicle that was engulfed in flames.

Deputy Darleen LaPaglia happened to be walking by an office building when a woman inside had a heart attack. She performed CPR until the rescuers arrived, saving the woman's life.

Deputy Andre Snell and Sgt. Beverly Ellis performed the Heimlich maneuver and saved an inmate at the Palm Beach County Detention Center who was choking on a piece of food.

Finally, deputy Joseph Bitter Jr. gave CPR to a passenger who had a heart attack while getting off of a plane at Palm Beach International Airport.

"It is with deep gratitude that we honor such exemplary individuals," said foundation President Richard Winter, "We are lucky to have them in our service."

Winter believes it is important to give attention to the officers' good deeds.

"People think that all cops do is shoot people," he said. "Had it not been for these officers, none of the victims would be alive today."

In addition to the Life Saving Award, the foundation has given away more than $ 200,000 in educational scholarships and grants to local officers who want to pursue higher education in law enforcement. It supports Palm Beach County-based law enforcement entities, officers and their families.

Sheriff's Deputies, Sergeant Honored Elizabeth Dwoskin, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer November 26, 2000 Sunday Final Edition,Central Copyright 2000 Palm Beach Newspapers, Inc. The Palm Beach Post November 26, 2000 Sunday Final Edition,Central Terms and Conditions Copyright(c) 2000 LEXIS-NEXIS, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights Reserved.

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