Fla. sheriff's office honors workers

Six deputies received top awards and eight members of the year were recognized

By Robert Eckhart, Staff Writer
Sarasota Herald-Tribune

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. -- Seventeen Charlotte County Sheriff's Office employees were honored this week during a ceremony at the Port Charlotte Beach Complex.

Sheriff's medals, the highest award given to deputies, were awarded to:

* Lt. Tom Rodgers and corrections officers Thomas Niebrugge, Stephen Windish and Gordon Eldridge for their efforts to save a jail inmate who tried to hang himself in January 2000.

The inmate, who did not have a pulse when deputies found him, was resuscitated at Charlotte Regional Medical Center.

* Operator Linda Estrada, who coached a man and woman through the birth of their premature baby. The baby was not breathing when it was delivered, so Estrada gave the couple CPR instructions over the telephone. The baby was breathing when paramedics arrived.

* Deputy Anthony Cimino, who performed CPR on two people in one day. In the morning, Cimino resuscitated a child who'd fallen into a pool. The child was breathing when paramedics arrived.

During his lunch break, Cimino gave CPR to a woman who collapsed with a heart attack in the restaurant where he was eating. Again, the woman was breathing when paramedics arrived.

* Cpl. Brian Hagerty, who waded 250 yards through the mangroves on the banks of Lemon Bay to save a 79-year-old man who was in danger of drowning.

* Sgt. Daniel Kaczynski and Corrections Officers Jerry Windisch and Eric Ogden were recognized for saving an inmate who tried to hang himself with a telephone cord. The inmate was treated for abrasions on his neck, but did not need to go to the hospital.

* Secretary Gloria Haynes, who was on her way to work one morning and stopped to help a woman suffering from diabetic shock. Paramedics said the woman might have died if Haynes hadn't stopped to help.

Members of the year

The Sheriff's Office also awarded its Members of the Year for 2000:

* Sgt. Ron Chandler, major crimes detective.

* Deputy David Horner, who patrols the Englewood area.

* Deputy Lance Rawson, who patrols the Murdock area.

* Deputy Jack Collins, who patrols areas outside Punta Gorda.

* Deputy Anthony Cimino, who patrols Port Charlotte.

* Operator Jodi Thompson, from the communications team.

* Faye Fegan, a longtime legal process assistant.

* Corrections officer Renee Filliez.

Copyright 2001 Sarasota Herald-Tribune Co.

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