FORT MYERS — On Monday, Dec. 6, the Florida Gulf Coast to Heartland Chapter of the American Red Cross recognized Cpl. Pierre Richard Jean, Cpl. David Donzanti and Detective James Kleinheinz from the Collier County Sheriff’s Office with Lifesaving Awards for using lifesaving skills to save a life.
Emergencies can happen at any time: in the grocery store, at a family gathering, at the community pool, or even at your own home or office. But regardless of when and where they occur, emergency situations usually have one thing in common: a crowd of people standing around, watching someone in distress—wondering who should act and trying to remember what to do.
On May 25, 2021 a maintenance worker cutting grass on a steep incline fell into a community lake in Pelican Marsh strapped on to a riding mower that overturned on top of him pinning him under water. Witnesses attempted to remove him from the water but were unsuccessful. Cpl. Pierre Richard Jean was the first deputy on the scene. He went into the water and, with assistance from two civilians, was able to lift the 1,000-pound mower off the victim, remove his seatbelt and bring him to dry land. The man did not have a pulse and was not breathing. He had been under water for several minutes. Cpl. Jean immediately began performing CPR. Cpl. David Donzanti was also patrolling in the area and arrived on scene as Cpl. Jean was performing CPR. Detective James Kleinheinz was getting gas nearby and also responded to the call. After arriving, Detective Kleinheinz took over CPR, and Cpl. Donzanti took over for Detective Kleinheinz. The three deputies worked tirelessly together for several minutes to make sure the victim continued to receive CPR. When Cpl. Donzanti was performing CPR, the victim started to spit up water and began agonal breathing as paramedics arrived and took over lifesaving measures.
Due to the quick actions of these three deputies, they were able to save a life.
For their incredible act of service and quick actions, Cpl. Pierre Richard Jean, Cpl. David Donzanti and Detective James Kleinheinz have been awarded the American Red Cross Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action. This award is bestowed upon individuals who step up during a time of emergency to alleviate suffering and save or sustain a life.
All three recipients were awarded the Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action during a Collier County Sheriff’s Office supervisor meeting attended by colleagues, Red Cross staff and board members.
“Since 1911, the Red Cross Lifesaving Awards have recognized those who, in an emergency, use their lifesaving skills and knowledge to save or sustain a life. The actions of these 3 Officers demonstrates the highest degree of concern of one human for another who is in distress,” said Jill Palmer, executive director, Florida Gulf Coast to Heartland Chapter, “The Red Cross has awarded over 1,585 individuals with lifesaving awards resulting in more than 775 lives saved. These officers are now among a very special group.”
Take a First Aid and CPR Course online to learn what to do in case emergency help is delayed.
A variety of online, blended (online and in-person skills session), and classroom courses are also available. To learn more and get started, visit redcross.org/takeaclass.
If you know of a local hero in your community or group of individuals who used Red Cross skills or training to save or sustain a life, you can nominate them at LifesavingAwards.org.