"Each Other's Keeper"

Meritorious Service Awards

Suite Save

Summit County Sheriff Deputies Bill McKinney (left) and Mark McElroy saved a 3-year-old boy
who fell into a hotel pool in Phoenix on May 12. (Phil Masturzo/Akron Beacon Journal)

As off-duty Summit County (Akron, Ohio) sheriff's deputies William McKinney and Mark McElroy sat down to dinner on May 11, 2012 at the Embassy Suites hotel restaurant in Phoenix, AZ, McKinney spotted a little boy running around the outdoor pool.

The 3-year-old then disappeared from view. A few minutes later, McKinney noticed something at the bottom of the pool and the two deputies, who were in Arizona to extradite a prisoner to Ohio, raced out of the restaurant to help.

The boy, being pulled out of the water by his panicked father, was lifeless. He's skin was gray. His lips purple. He had no pulse, and he wasn't breathing.

McKinney and McElroy immediately started chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. After several minutes, the boy let out a gurgle, vomited, spit up water and started taking shallow breaths. He has since made a full recovery, and there are no outward signs of his scrape with death.

Life Saving Effort

On Feb. 18, 2011, Officers Richard Thomas and Stephen Fuller responded to a domestic battery call in St. Petersburg, FL. A man had battered several family members, then engaged in another physical confrontation with his nephew in the front yard of the residence.

As Officers Thomas and Fuller arrived on scene, they found the man who was reportedly beating his family, lying unresponsive in the front yard not breathing. Without hesitation, Officer Thomas began chest compressions and Officer Fuller retrieved his CPR mask and provided mouth-to-mask respirations until EMS arrived on scene.

Although the patient later died, their efforts provided him with an increased potential for survival. The actions taken by Officers Fuller and Thomas demonstrates their professionalism and dedication to the welfare of the community.

Bank Robbery

On April 23, 2011, Lt. Jeff Traci and Patrolman Justin Blatnick of the Lynhurst New Jersey Police Department were dispatched to a bank robbery.

The suspect was a white male wearing a blue hood, jeans and sunglasses. Lt. Traci received information that thesuspect, who was armed with a semi-automatic pistol, fled the scene in a black Ford F150 pickup truck. Ptl. Blatnick observed the getaway vehicle, a pursuit ensued and the pickup truck crashed after reaching speeds 80-100 MPH. The suspect was arrested and nearly $5,000 was recovered in the truck. An armed bank robber is off the streets because of the efforts of Lt. Traci and Ptl. Blatnick.

Shooting Suspects

On Sept. 19, 2011, in Cleveland, OH, Officers Dave Morova and Lou Kitko heard gunshots following a radio broadcast for a male with a gun. Without regard for their own personal safety they drove towards the sound of gunfire. They observed 8-10 people running toward them. Officer Morova jumped from the car, ordered two males to the grounds and took those men into custody. While Officer Morova was taking the two men into custody, a third man fled from the officers. Officer Kitko exited the zone car and pursued and apprehended the third suspect. Once other zone cars arrived, the suspects were handcuffed and placed in the zone cars. Officers Morova and Kitko then responded to the scene of the shooting and organized first aid to the victim and expedited the response of Fire and EMS.

It was later confirmed by surveillance video that the three males taken into custody by Officers Morova and Kitko were directly involved in shooting a 16-year-old boy.

As a result of Officers Morova and Kitko's dedication and heroism, this case was resolved and three violent suspects, who threatened the safety of Cleveland, are off the street and facing justice.


On April 12, 2012, Gold Cross Unit M23 brought a patient into the emergency room at Doctors Hospital in Augusta, GA. The patient was status post cardiac arrest with CPR in progress. The crew was Paramedic Janne Cullum and EMT TK Herring. Augusta/Richmond County Fire Department firemen, David Moose, Eddie Hightower and Jeremiah Clemons were the first responders who assisted during the call.

The quality of care provided for the patient assisted in his survival. At Emergency Department arrival, the patient had return of spontaneous pulse and was sent to the ICU. Each of the individuals involved, performed their job professionally, with competency and as a cohesive team. The Doctors Hospital staff took notice and wanted them to be recognized for their efforts that saved a life that day.


On Thursday, April 19, 2012, Howell Area Fire Department Station 23 was dispatched to a full arrest. Upon arrival at the scene, Lt. Mike Petrosky found a 49-year-old male lying in the middle of the roadway with bystander CPR in progress. Lt. Petrosky took command and relieved the citizen, Mrs. Jolene Campbell, of cardiopulmonary resuscitation efforts. Shortly thereafter, Capt. Gary Beal and Asst. Chief Brian Anderson arrived on scene to assist with patient care. One of the bystanders, Mrs. Lynnette Aiken, had provided an AED just shortly before Livingston County EMS arrived on scene. They placed the AED and it administered a shock to the patient. One shock was delivered and they continued CPR for 2 more cycles before the patient regained spontaneous respirations and a rapid, steady pulse. The patient was transported to St. Joseph Livingston Hospital and then was transported by University of Michigan Survival Flight to St. Joseph Ann Arbor Hospital.

The patient was recovering at the hospital and is showing signs of progress. It wasn't until they were taking information that they realized that Mr. and Mrs. Campbell were taking their dog out for a walk when they witnessed the patient jogging and then just dropping to the ground. Mr. John Campbell initiated the 911 call while Mrs. Jolene Campbell, a nurse, initiated CPR and continued until their arrival. Mrs. Lynnette Aiken, while on site, realized she had an AED and volunteered that equipment to them while waiting for Brush 23 and the LCA unit to arrive.

Their patient that night was in the hospital for a couple of weeks recovering. Upon his discharge from the hospital he stopped by to say "thank you" and that he is expected to make a full recovery. The Department plans to hold a CPR class for the neighborhood association where the patient lives.

Jupiter Beach Drowning

On March 19, 2012, members of the Jupiter Police Department responded to Jupiter Beach Park in reference to a drowning incident. Upon the officer's arrival, they learned that, Izzy Hernandez, an off-duty Orlando Police Officer, and Ross Olcott, a concerned citizen, worked together to save the life of a 5-year-old boy who was found unresponsive, and face down in the water.

After seeing the child in the water, Officer Hernandez and Olcott immediately entered the water, took hold of the child and pulled him to shore. Officer Hernandez then began rescue breathing efforts until the arrival of Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. The child was transported to the St. Mary's Hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

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