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Three LCSO deputies honored for saving life

December 4, 2013
By MEL TOADVINE ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

Police work is a demanding task and officers with the Lee County Sheriff's Office continue to serve the people of Lee County and especially Lehigh Acres where last week three officers were recognized by the Greater Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce for saving a man's life.

The monthly chamber luncheon was held at The Hut restaurant and Inke Baker, CEO and president of the chamber, handed over citations that were presented to the officers.

The three honored were Deputies Christopher Ashley Jr., James Erskin along with Sgt. Walter Ryan, all members of the Lehigh Bravo Substation at 1301 Homestead Road South in Lehigh. Ryan was unable to attend to receive his award.

Article Photos

Inke Baker, left, presents an award to Donita Everhart who works for Century 21 Sunbelt Realty, naming her Employee of the Month for November on behalf of the Greater Lehigh Acres chamber.

On October 8, just more than a month ago, Deputies Ashley, Erskin and Sgt. Walter Ryan responded to a medical call in Lehigh. A 66-year-old man had been found unresponsive by his wife and she had called 911 for help.

Ashley and Ryan were first on the scene and immediately began CPR. Unfortunately the victim was currently being treated for congestive heart failure, the wife told officers.

Ashley and Ryan completed two cycles of CPR and were in the middle of beginning a third cycle when paramedics from the Lehigh Acres Fire and Rescue arrived and quickly took over. He was taken to Lehigh Regional Medical Center for emergency medical care and survived.

Later, Ryan called LRMC to check on the status of the victim and was told that the attending physician said the patient was in stable condition and attributed the patient's stability to the early emergency medical treatment he received from the first responders, the two from the Sheriff's office.

Inke Baker, the chamber's CEO said the chamber was very proud to recognize Deputy Christopher Ashley Jr., Deputy James Erskin and Sgt. Walter Ryan as Officers of the Month for November. Ryan was unable to attend to receive his award.

Meanwhile, Baker announced that an employee of a chamber member was being honored as Employee of the Month.

She was Donita Everhart who is employed by Century 21 Sunbelt Realty.

Baker said Everhart is a very dedicated employee.

"She comes into the office whenever she is needed and is always willing to work. Her work ethic is outstanding.

"She even takes work home if new forms or spreadsheets are needed. She is a pleasure to everyone she meets or helps on behalf of her agent, Vickie Hay. Donita keeps Vickie focused on task," Baker said.

She went on to say that Everhart is so dedicated to the people she works with that she even takes care of their pets if necessary. She is simply the best and a true relief to the stress a real estate business carries.

Before posing with her for a picture, Baker said the chamber was proud to recognize Donita Everhart of Century 21 Sunbelt Realty as the Employee of the Month for November.

Later, Baker announced that the chamber's annual Awards Gala will be held Saturday, Jan. 25, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. at Pelican Preserve. She also noted that the honorary mayor's race for Lehigh is underway and urged those who want to run for "mayor" to contact the chamber now and start raising money for the benefit.

In the past the honorary mayor's contest began in January and didn't always give contenders enough time to raise money for the chamber and the candidate's favorite charity. The winner of the honorary mayor's contest is announced on the last Friday night of the Spring Festival which begins March 21 of next year. The winner of the contest gets to ride in an open convertible in the following Saturday morning's parade down Homestead Rd., and represents Lehigh at ceremonial events throughout the year.

The award honoring the three officers at the Lee County Sheriff's Office was sponsored by Lehigh Towne Centre while the award for the Employee of the Month is sponsored by the Greater Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce.

The speaker at the chamber luncheon was Katy Ebaugh, who invited everyone to attend the Saturday, Dec. 7 meeting to be held at the Sheriff's Conference Room to discuss the redoing of Homestead Rd. She said the meeting begins at 11:30 and the group may take a walk down a part of Homestead Rd. to get a feeling for what the people of Lehigh with the help of the county's planning department want to see changed. Homestead Rd. will be greatly affected, with new walkways, landscaping and the end of left turns. She said it was one of three centers in Lehigh that will be created to become mixed used areas where residents can live, work and play and be close enough for others in the surrounding area to come to visit stores and restaurants in a "downtown setting."

Ebaugh has spent hundreds of hours offering presentations over the past three years while she and others work with the people of Lehigh to come up with a Lehigh Plan. She is the principal planner in the county government offices in Fort Myers with special emphases on Lehigh's future development.



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