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Three honored by chamber

September 6, 2012
By MEL TOADVINE ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

The quick actions of a Lehigh Acres sheriff's deputy helped to save the life of a Lehigh Acres woman and for that action, he was recognized for his efforts and given a plaque by the Greater Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce.

Deputy Jamie Steffel was sent to a 17th Street West regarding a cellular 911 hang up on July 20. Law officials were informed that a woman was unconscious and not breathing, said Lt. James Loethen, assistant commander at the Bravo Substation in Lehigh.

On arrival Steffel saw a man inside a bedroom of the house performing CPR on a 36-year-old woman who was lying on the floor between two beds making CPR difficult to perform, Loethen said.

Article Photos

Lt. James Loethen of the Bravo Substation of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, left, presents the Deputy of the Month Award to Deputy Jamie Steffel for his part in saving the life of an individual in Lehigh.

He saw blood and foam coming from the woman's mouth and nose. She was unresponsive with no pulse and no respiration and Steffel immediately took over and performed CPR on the woman until Deputy Mason and Deputy Mukaddam arrived to help by moving the woman into the center of the bedroom to make it easier to continue performing CPR. Each of the deputies performed CPR by alternating until paramedics arrived.

"It has been said that there is no greater sacrifice than to lay down one's life for that of others and in this situation, that is precisely what these deputies did in the line of duty for a complete stranger," Loethen told Chamber members.

Steffel and his fellow deputies are fine examples of the dedicated and determined law enforcement officers who serve the people of Lehigh Acres every day. Their response to this incident and their choice of action with total disregard for their own health and safety is highly commendable," Loethen said.

Deputy Jamie Steffel was given a standing ovation. The woman was identified as Nicole Black of 3214 17th St. West.

The presentation took place at the chamber's August luncheon held at the Microtel Inn & Suites on Business Way on Aug. 28.

Meanwhile, the Greater Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce honored to other residents of Lehigh.

Gary Bright, the president and CEO of the chamber, called on James Fait to come to the front and be honored as the chamber's Member of the Month. He is an employee of Vision Ace Hardware.

"James is one of our members who could be easy overlooked because of his quiet participation in almost all of our networking events. But his positive attitude and his bright red shirt are always sticking out and so is the support of vision Ace Hardware when it comes to events or other needs of the chamber," Bright said.

"Customer service is not just a word for James and the Vision Ace Hardware team. They are living it. Just go to the store and you will have one of the best shopping experiences you'll ever have. He is a positive shining star in our community," Bright said.

The chamber also honored a woman who works for a pharmacy in Lehigh. She is Louanna (Lani) White of the Medicine Shoppe. She was named the chamber's employee of the year.

White is well-known by many of the pharmacy's customers and was called a "model employee".

"Her work ethic is truly the best and her integrity is above reproach," Bright said.

For 12 years, she has worked as a pharmacy clerk "with great enthusiasm" because she enjoys helping people and that reflects in the high customer service level she is providing at the Medicine Shoppe, Bright said.

The award to White was a complete surprise as she was brought to the luncheon by another member of the chamber.

"Because of her dedication, we are proud to recognize Lani White as our Employee of the Month for August," Bright said.

The next chamber luncheon will be on Sept. 25 at the Microtel Inn & Suites. The luncheon is not only for members, but for those in the community who are also invited. For more information and to RSVP, contact the chamber at 369-3322. Offices of the chamber are at 25 Homestead Rd. in the Lehigh Towne Center shopping center.



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