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Deputies recognized during awards ceremony

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Deputy David Curington, right, receives a Medal of Valor during the Pitt County Sheriff's Office awards ceremony, Monday morning.


By Tyler Stocks
The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Several Pitt County Sheriff’s Office employees were honored on Monday morning during a ceremony at the Pitt County Courthouse.

Some were recognized for their efforts to save lives, while others received recognition for achieving career milestones and earning advanced certifications. 

“Some of the awards that were given out today were the results of events that occurred within the last year or year and a half since the last award ceremony,” Sheriff Neil Elks said.  “I was very proud of the work they did and I wanted to make sure their awards were presented here before I retired and show them how much I really appreciate the efforts they have put in to save people lives and make Pitt County a safer place. And I’m very proud of the lives they saved.”

From administering a drug to reverse overdoses to performing CPR and using automated external defibrillators, Elks said his staff of deputies and detention officers are trained to respond to a variety of emergency situations.

Elks added that gunshot wound kits also are being used by his staff to help control bleeding when they are the first to arrive at the scene of a shooting..    

“It’s made a really big difference in the community, so it set a model for other agencies throughout the state that they need to get on board,” Elks said.

Elks said many lives have been saved due to his staff’s ability to administer naloxone hydrochloride, a medication that temporarily stops or reverses the effects of an opioid or heroin overdose. One of the most common brands for this medication is Narcan.  

“They’ve been willing to jump up and serve and deliver the Narcan to the scene and actually applied it … to help save these people’s lives,” Elks said.

Also during the ceremony, Pitt County Emergency Medical Services Director Dr. Roberto Portella presented several deputies with EMS coins for saving lives.   

“It’s not every day we get such stories about bravery and other things,” Portella said. “They applied their knowledge either by deploying Narcan or by administering CPR with an AED and there are people that went back to their families because of them.

“I thought it was important to show them my appreciation with more than a certificate — with the EMS medical director coin,” he said.  

Portella said that time is precious, especially in cases of overdoses, and the sooner deputies can intervene in these medical emergencies the better. 

“In cases where there’s a suspected overdose, police are the first to respond,” he said “So it’s extremely important to have Narcan because if that’s the case, they are right there at that very moment to give Narcan and reverse that overdose.

“That means getting someone who is not breathing back to breathing in a couple of minutes even before EMS is able to get there because of scene security,” Portella said. 

Following is the full list of awards and recipients: 

Life-Saving Awards

■ Major Jeff Phillips

■ Detective Ashleigh Nicholas Barhman-Wilson

■ Deputy Ray Dixon

■ Deputy Quinten Pool

■ Deputy Josh Bullock

■ Deputy Chris Syers

■ Detention Officer Pernell Elliott

Sheriff Commendation

■ Deputy Josh Bullock

■ Deputy Michael Eubanks

Medal of Valor:

■ Lt. Chad Suggs

■ Sgt. Jon Croley

■ Deputy David Curington

■ Deputy John Jackson

EMT Award:

■ Captain Chad Singleton

■ Lt. Ray Smith

■ Sergeant Billy Smith

Intermediate/Advanced Awards

■ Deputy Ernest Moore

■ Telecommunicator Leisa Arnold

■ Detention officer Eva Carmon

■ Detention officer Thomas Miller

■ Detention officer Randall McGowan

■ Detention officer Bobby Bowden

■ Detention officer Cheryl Knight

■ Deputy Jared Dobbs

Civilian Community Service Award

■ Heather Waters of Longhorn Steakhouse.   

Contact Tyler Stocks at tstocks@reflector.com or 252-329-9566.  Follow him on Twitter @TylerstocksGDR

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