Lee County Sheriff's Deputy Ahmed Youssef received a standing ovation after Capt. John Haberman told the Greater Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce luncheon group last week that Youssef was instrumental in saving the life of an 82-year-old Lehigh grandmother.
Haberman is in charge of Bravo District officers who cover all of Lehigh Acres. Accompanying Haberman at the luncheon for the presentation was his second in command, Lt. Tim Short.
The chamber made Deputy Youssef its Deputy Sheriff of the Month with a special citation and award.
Haberman said that on Aug. 20 just before 6:30 p.m., Deputy Ahmed Youssef was sent to a 911 medical emergency call in Lehigh. He said it was concerning an 82-year-old woman who had fallen in her bathroom and was unable to get up. A family member who called also said that her grandmother was gasping for air and becoming unresponsive.
"While on the phone with a 911 call taker, the family said the situation with the elderly woman had worsened and that her grandmother didn't have a pulse and had stopped breathing," Haberman said.
The patient's granddaughter began chest compressions otherwise known as CPR for about three to four minutes until Deputy Youssef arrived
"He began immediately and without hesitation and took over CPR for five to six minutes before Lehigh EMS arrived. They took control of the medical situation and were able to get a pulse," Haberman said.
Once stabilized, medics took the patient to Lehigh Regional medical Center for treatment.
"Good news came back to the department in early September when Sgt. Spaan contacted the granddaughter and was told that her grandmother had just returned from the hospital and was happy and said that her grandmother had survived the intense moment in her life, and wanted to thank Deputy Youssef for his actions.
Haberman said he wanted to commend Deputy Youssef on behalf of the entire Lee County Sheriff's Office for his prompt response, quick action and staying calm during the medical assistance and CPR.
"He most certainly contributed in saving the life of a beloved grandmother," Haberman said,
Meanwhile, Brent Barkway, project manager for the Hertz Project in Lee County's Economic Development Office, told member about Hertz's decision to move to Lee County with its national headquarters
"It was a year-long process and we knew someone was interested in bringing a big business to Lee County was an opportunity of a lifetime," Barkway said.
"But in the beginning of negotiations when Hertz was looking at other sites in the U.S. to move its headquarters from New Jersey, everything had to be very confidential. I didn't even know while working with one of their consultants," Barkway said.
Hertz finally made the announcement that it was moving its massive headquarters operations to Lee County and chose a site near Estero and expects to break ground later this year or next and provide jobs once in operation for 700 people.
"It's a great jobs expansion for Lee County," Barkway said. "I drove them around to different areas of the county. They looked at property across from Skyplex and when we were down near Estero, one of them asked about a certain site and that is where they made a final decision to relocate."
"I also have nothing but praise for Mary Gibbs in the county development department. It was huge for us to get a fortune 500 company to come here and she was a great help," he said.
Hertz, the nation's largest rental car agency, held a jobs fair last week and also is in the process of offering relocation plans for those in New Jersey who may want to move to Southwest Florida.
"Their (Hertz) coming here will have a $300 million impact on our area. It will involve some $900,000 just in property taxes," he said.
"Hertz is a leader in the industry. They are developing places now where you can plan a rental and pick it up by just interacting with a computer and you don't have to see a person," he said. They are scheduled to start this practice in Tulsa, Okla., he said. "They are real leaders in the industry for sure."
Barkway also said a call center is considering relocation to Cape Coral and very well may provide at least 250 jobs in the county.
"Since the announcement that Hertz is bringing its corporate headquarters to Lee County, it is having a great effect on other corporations that may be looking to relocate. They see Hertz coming here and are probably thinking Southwest Florida must be a good spot to conduct business," he said.
The chamber held its monthly luncheon as usual on the last Tuesday of the month at 11 a.m. with lunch at 11:30 a.m. For the past few luncheons, the event has been held at The Hut restaurant in Buckingham, just 10 miles outside of Lehigh. The next luncheon will be on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 11 a.m. with the location to be announced by the chamber. The public, in addition to chamber members are always invited to attend, but visitors must call the chamber to RSVP.
Chamber President Inke Baker reminded members of the Oct. 5 annual golf tourney to be held at Mirror Lakes Golf club at 670 Milwaukee Blvd. To play in the tournament, call the Chamber for arrangements.
She also announced that the chamber's annual banquet where new officers are installed and a gala program is held will be on January 25 at Pelicans Reserve.
"We're making plans now for a great evening for chamber members," she said. "You'll be hearing more from us about what is being planned," she said.