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Teen who braved fire to save injured driver, others win awards

Tiffany Reinhardt was a passenger in a car that pulled over to help. Another vehicle had just veered off Leonard Road in Land O'Lakes about 9:30 p.m. July 26, crashing into an electrical box, hitting a tree and flipping over.

Then, as Reinhardt and the others from her car went over to check on the injured driver, the 2004 Toyota Corolla burst into flames.

That didn't deter Reinhardt, 18.

Without any concern for her own safety, the 5-feet-5, 90-pound teen ran toward the flaming car and pulled the driver out, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. Reinhardt suffered first- and second-degree burns to her hands.

And she said she'd do it again if she had to.

Reinhardt received the Special Service Award at the Pasco County Sheriff's Office quarterly awards ceremony.

Other awards

The other awards presented Wednesday include:

• Medal of Valor to Sgt. William Lawless, Sgt. Ben Barrington and Field Training Officer Gene Smith for their handling of an Aug. 6 standoff with a man who shot at them. The sergeants returned fire, and the deputies safely removed two women from the mobile home. The suspect later killed himself.

• Purple Heart Award to Deputy Ashley Grady for jumping on the truck of a fleeing DUI suspect. Grady was thrown from the truck into oncoming traffic and suffered a broken leg and cuts and bruises.

• Lifesaving Award to Deputies Shawn Meeks, Keith Krapfl and Jessica Hammond and communications officer Raquel Arredondo for rescuing a 62-year-old woman who had become trapped in a swampy area in Holiday.

• Lifesaving Award to Deputies Jeffrey Chandler, Anthony Lokotnicki and Darrell Hill for rescuing a suicidal woman at a Land O'Lakes home.

• DuPont Kevlar Survivor's Club Award, given by the International Association of the Chiefs of Police, to Deputy Jeffrey Chandler, who survived a gunshot while responding to a 2008 burglary at a Lacoochee convenience store. His body armor and his metal business card saved his life from the bullet.

• Meritorious Service Award for Accomplishment for communications supervisor Nicole Spillman and communications officer Patricia Raia for their diligence in gathering and fact-checking information in the early pursuit of the Dougherty siblings.

• Employee Incentive Award for law enforcement to Cpl. David Hink for his efforts to provide positive programs and improve community relations in Lacoochee and Dade City.

• Employee Incentive Award for a detention deputy to Shawn Brinson for finding dangerous contraband in the jail, including an Allen wrench and a knife made from a broken broom handle.

• Employee Incentive Award for a civilian to RN clinical supervisor Stephanie Erwin for handling additional duties while three key medical staff were on medical or maternity leave.

• Special Service Award to resident Andrew Sinkiewicz and Explorer Kyle Wilson, whose vigilance led to the arrest of three juveniles committing car burglaries in Asbel Creek.

• Special Award to Thomas Micklo Jr., a boy who came to the aid of his mother when she was being attacked by her boyfriend.

• Citizen Service Award to Jennie Briguglio, the director of operations for the SPCA Suncoast, for providing deputies with a specialized course on understanding canine behavior.

Teen who braved fire to save injured driver, others win awards 10/19/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 9:03pm]
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