HOLIDAY — As soon as they heard the loud crashing of boats Aug. 10 near Anclote River Park, a lifeguard and two other boaters sprang into action.
Lifeguard Eddie Feidt ran to the boat ramp and asked boaters Jimmy Ryder and his son, Chris, whether they could take him to the scene. The trio checked on the passengers in the first vessel, who had only minor injuries, then found the second boat beached on a nearby island, with the driver dead and the passenger needing medical attention.
Jimmy Ryder radioed for help and ferried emergency personnel to the crash site while Feidt and Chris Ryder tended to the injured. For their efforts, the three men received the Pasco Sheriff's Citizens Service Award at last week's quarterly awards ceremony.
About three dozen people were honored at the gathering, including veterinarian Dr. Jonathan Blake, who received a Special Service Award for caring for the Sheriff's Office's dogs.
Deputy Robert Wilkins' dog, Copper, ingested a toxic substance while working, causing internal bleeding and organ failure, the Sheriff's Office said. Blake and his staff gave Copper a blood transfusion and round-the-clock care for four days. Copper recovered and is back to work.
Blake also treats the dogs at cost, so the agency's bill has been cut by about two-thirds, the Sheriff's Office said.
The other honorees:
• Sgt. Gary Raulerson received the Purple Heart Award for the injuries — a broken nose, four chipped teeth and a concussion —suffered while taking a brawling man into custody.
• Deputy Wayne Boekeloo received the Medal of Valor and the Lifesaving Award for responding, while off-duty, to the threat of a knife-wielding, suicidal man at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point. Deputy Christopher Zick, who fired his Taser so officers could take the man into custody, received the Lifesaving Award.
• Deputy George Winton received the Meritorious Service Medal for Courage for kicking open the front door of a man who had threatened to kill his girlfriend and any deputies who showed up. Winton's quick action allowed other deputies to swarm in the back door and take the man into custody.
• Cpl. Teddy Johnson, Sgt. Steve Greiner, Deputy David Duff, and Deputies Stephen Napoleon and Fahad Kharbey received Lifesaving Awards for safely taking suicidal people into custody.
• Detective Jennifer Morton received the Lifesaving Award; and Pasco fire code enforcement officer Marian Maniates and civilians Christina and Tyler Trowell received the Special Service Award for resuscitating an elderly man who had collapsed in a parking lot.
• Deputies Ryan Pomponio and Daniel Mills received Lifesaving Awards for helping people in medical distress.
• Deputies Joseph Liddick and David Riffe received the Lifesaving Award for sustaining the life of a 17-year-old girl who had shot herself in the head. The girl later died, but the deputies' efforts allowed her organs to be donated.
• Child protection investigator Melissa Sedor received the Meritorious Service Award for Accomplishment for identifying and removing a juvenile sex abuse victim from her abusers.
• Deputy Anthony Owen received the Meritorious Service Medal for Accomplishment for helping detain a shoplifter — who turned out to be a wanted felon — while Owen was off-duty.
• Circuit Judge Pat Siracusa received the Special Service Award, and Cpl. Joseph Stimac received the Meritorious Service Medal for Accomplishment for creating a powerful multimedia presentation on the dangers of driving while intoxicated.
• Lt. Ray Revell, Sgt. Larry Engle, Detective Kip Mello, IT programmer Frank Sortino and warrants clerk Marguerite Gershkowitz received the Meritorious Service Medal/Award for Accomplishment for creating an electronic database to track fugitive-warrant service attempts.
• Detective Kip Mallo received the Employee Incentive Award for executing warrants while the unit was short-staffed.
• Detention Deputy Alan Derouin received the Employee Incentive Award for suggestions that improved efficiency and costs at the jail, including switching to larger laundry detergent containers and reusing old pillowcases for inmates to store their commissary items.
• Diane Miller received the Employee Incentive Award for her work in the vice and narcotics unit.
• Angela France received the Certificate of Achievement for her work in the agency's purchasing section.
• Stephen Occhiogrosso received the Certificate of Achievement for his work in the agency's Information Technology department.
• Communications training supervisor Darlene Wilson and communications officer Denise Gogola received the Certificate of Achievement for efforts that led to the agency receiving certification from the state Bureau of Emergency Medical Services.