Sheriff Hoffman Holds Award Ceremony

NEWS RELEASE 23-037 - JULY 21, 2023
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Left to right: Sgt. Jonathan F. Vanik, Dep. Yevgeniy Chernyavskiy, Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman; Sgt. Jonathan F. Vanik, Dep. Justin G. Osinga, Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman; Deputies Pedro Almeida White, Asen D. Dimitrov, Shaun M. Burley, Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman; Admin. Asst. III Louis H. Wolf, Court Services Deputies Shawn M. Coughlan, Elena Giannini, Michael P. White, Robert E. Benucci, Sgt. Michael L. Jackson, Corrections Sgt. Donald R. Bennett, Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman.
(Not pictured: Deputies Christopther M. Indico, Kyle E. McKnight, Daniel Furner, and Court Services Dep. William M. Rudiger)

Sarasota County Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman presented Life Saving Awards and a Unit Citation on Thursday.

Sergeant Jonathan F. Vanik and Deputy Yevgeniy Chernyavskiy received the Life Saving Award for their actions upon witnessing a vehicle crash into the side of a building. Without hesitation, the two deputies rendered medical aid to the driver who was pinned inside the vehicle, which was under downed power lines. Sergeant Vanik, recognizing the driver was suffering from an opiate overdose, directed Deputy Chernyavskiy to administer Naloxone (Narcan). Both deputies removed the driver from the vehicle through the back seat and began life-saving measures. The deputies' quick and decisive actions saved the victim from imminent danger or death.

Sergeant Jonathan F. Vanik and Deputies Justin G. Osinga, Christopher M. Indico, and Kyle E. McKnight received the Life Saving Award for their response to a 9-1-1 call reporting a female with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. Due to the nature of the injury, the responding deputies immediately started life-saving measures which included the use of a business card to create a vented chest seal over the exit wound allowing the female to continue to breathe. She was transported to Sarasota Memorial Hospital, treated and released, and expected to fully recover. The meticulous care these four deputies provided was critical in saving her life.

Corrections Deputies Pedro Almeida White, Shaun M. Burley, and Asen D. Dimitrov received the Life Saving Award for their actions upon discovering an inmate attempting suicide. Deputy Almeida White notified additional personnel and initiated chest compressions. Deputies Burley and Dimitrov arrived to assist in compressions before emergency medical services arrived and transported the victim. Deputies Almeida White, Burley, and Dimitrov's quick observation and intervention successfully saved a life, and their extraordinary efforts are commendable.

Deputy Daniel Furner received the Life Saving Award for his response to a 55-year-old male who was unconscious and not breathing. Deputy Furner arrived on the scene and began life-saving measures, performing approximately 12 rounds of chest compressions until Sarasota County Fire Department (SCFD) arrived, treated, and transported the victim to the hospital. His efforts resulted in the survival of the patient.

The Virtual Court Unit, comprised of the following members: Sergeant Michael L. Jackson, Corrections Sergeant Donald R. Bennett, Court Services Deputies William M. Rudiger, Elena Giannini, Robert E. Benucci, Shawn M. Coughlan, and Michael P. White, and Administrative Assistant III Louis H. Wolf, received a Unit Citation for the implementation and management of the new virtual courtroom program. Through an orchestrated and collaborative approach, the unit conducted 8,014 virtual hearings and 5,786 first-appearances in 2022. In the first quarter of 2023, appearances are up 18% from the same period last year. Remote hearings have significantly impacted court proceedings for in-custody defendants by balancing safety, security, convenience, and due process. The services provided by this unit have brought solutions and revolutionized court services. The outstanding performance of the Virtual Court Unit has not just met but exceeded standards set by the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.

"Over and over again, I am grateful to see the actions of our deputies and employees making a significant difference in our community," said Sheriff Hoffman. "The service and heroism of these individuals reaffirm my pride in our agency."