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Chamber honors Cape’s, Lee’s finest at ceremony

By Staff | Nov 17, 2012

Three of Cape Coral’s and Lee County’s finest were feted for their service to the community for going above and beyond and saving the life of a citizen.

Meanwhile, a fourth was celebrated for his 30 years of service to the city.

Four area public safety personnel were honored on Thursday as the Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce handed out its Officer of the Year awards at its after-hours event at FOS Furniture, on the corner of Del Prado Boulevard and Pine Island Road.

Sergeant Tim Lalor and Deputy Ronald Flynn of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Cape Coral police officer Jennifer Bochetti and city firefighter Tony Givens were awarded the coveted honor, which has been given annually since 2001 after the attacks on Sept. 11 of that year.

“Cape Coral has always given awards, but ours are bigger and nicer ones,” said Pat Corlew of FOS Furniture. “It’s to let them know we support them.”

Flynn and Lalor were commended for an Oct. 13, 2011 call in which they saved the life of a man who suffered cardiac arrest at a store on Fort Myers Beach. After they administered CPR on the man and got his heart beating again, ambulances arrived to bring him to the hospital, where he survived.

“I was blessed to be in the right place at the right time,” Flynn said. “I’m very humbled to receive this award.”

Bochetti earned an award for an April 9 medical call in which she saved the life of 11-month old Sydney Ruddy, who was found face-down in a backyard pool. She administered CPR until the city fire department and emergency medical services arrived on the scene.

“It’s a wonderful honor to represent the department. I give credit to God and my training,” Bochetti said. “It only takes a second for something to happen.”

In both cases, the quick thinking of these officers likely saved the life of the victims.

Firefighter Tony Givens served Cape Coral for years during house fires, large-scale brush fires and hurricanes. He celebrated 30 years with the fire department, where he was a firefighter, engineer, lieutenant and battalion chief before his retirement this year.

Givens wasn’t available for comment. However, chief Steve Olson said the award speaks volumes for Givens’ devotion to the job.

“The award is voted on by your co-workers. It’s not something you win easily,” Olson said. “He’s shown the ability to manage and be what he could be.”

“They’re out on the streets doing jobs on behalf of the community,” Corlew said. “It gives us a warm, fuzzy feeling when we do this.”