Sheriff Hoffman Presents Heroic Achievement and Life Saving Awards

NEWS RELEASE 24-017 - MAY 14, 2024 
Awards Graphic website white small

Pictured left to right: Sergeant Lincoln Dilling, Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman; Deputy Elizabeth Gray-Smith, Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman;
Deputies Connor Goad, Lynda Morris, and Jackson Stroud, Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman; Deputy Jeffrey Mendez, Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman.

Sarasota County Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman presented several awards at a ceremony on Monday.

Sergeant Lincoln Dilling received the Heroic Achievement Award for his response to a call for a male in distress after falling into a lake. As he arrived at the lakefront, Sergeant Dilling immediately donned his flippers and goggles (Sheriff’s Underwater Recovery Force equipment) and jumped into the frigid waters. He was able to locate the drowning victim despite the low visibility underwater and quickly pull him to shore, where he was met by Sarasota County Fire Department (SCFD) paramedics who performed lifesaving measures and transported him to the hospital. Sergeant Dilling’s swift and heroic actions, coupled with his selfless efforts that day, provided the victim a chance at survival and allowed the victim’s family the opportunity to support him in his last moments of life.

Deputy Elizabeth Gray-Smith received the Life Saving Award for her immediate action at a traffic crash while heading home from her shift. After requesting assistance, she assessed the injuries and applied her agency-issued tourniquet to prevent further blood loss to one of the victims who had suffered a severe leg injury. Deputy Gray-Smith’s decisive actions saved the victim’s life and leg, allowing for a full recovery.

Deputies Connor Goad, Lynda Morris, and Jackson Stroud received the Life Saving Award for their response to an attempted suicide by hanging. Upon their arrival, all three deputies took notable measures working together, including cutting down the victim and providing chest compressions. Their teamwork, in partnership with SCFD, saved the victim’s life.

Deputy Jeffrey Mendez received the Lifesaving Award for his actions at the scene of an unresponsive male. Mendez solely administered CPR while awaiting additional assistance. SCFD assumed care and transported him to the hospital. Due to Deputy Mendez’s quick response and lifesaving efforts, the patient regained a pulse and eventually made a full recovery. Deputy Mendez exhibited extraordinary merit and dedication to duty in this successful lifesaving attempt.

“Unselfish dedication to service is exemplified in the work of each of these deputies,” said Sheriff Hoffman. “Extensive training has prepared them for quick and precise action that makes it possible for them to save lives in our community.”