Santa Rosa County recognizes citizen responders
with "9-1-1 Hero" awards
Friday, March 23 - The Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners and emergency management staff presented 9-1-1 Hero awards to the bystanders who saved the life of cardiac arrest victim Randal Leonard at the Walmart Supercenter in Navarre.

The good Samaritans included the 9-1-1 caller Nicole Wright; Walmart associate Rhonda Crenshaw and former firefighter Mickey O'Reilly who each took turns administering CPR; and Walmart co-manager Michael Whitaker who assisted in getting responders to the victim. Santa Rosa Sheriff Deputy Sheri Stovall, who delivered the AED shock; as well as Holley-Navarre Fire District, Lifeguard Ambulance Service and ShandsCair 6 who responded to the emergency were also recognized.

"This is the perfect example of being prepared," said Emergency Management Director Brad Baker. "Recognizing someone having a medical emergency, early access to 9-1-1 and knowing how to perform CPR can be the difference between life and death. Our CPR-trained 9-1-1 heroes made the difference in this outcome." 

According to the American Heart Association, almost 90 percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die. CPR, especially if performed in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person's chance of survival. Santa Rosa County will offer Community CPR on Sat., June 2. To register, visit or call 850-983-4609

"The Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office and their CPR-trained deputies like Sheri Stovall are a great asset to our county," said District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson. "Our multi-tiered response system starts with the first call to 9-1-1 and gets a professional responder to an emergency scene as quickly as possible. With rapid response from good Samaritans, medically trained dispatchers and highly skilled first responders, lives are positively impacted on a daily basis."

Recently an additional radio antenna was installed in the nearby Whispering Pines area boosting the signal and greatly improving reception within the Walmart Supercenter.

"We are very grateful to the citizens of Santa Rosa County for passing the local option sales tax that funds much-needed public safety projects like this new antenna," said Santa Rosa County Commission Chairman Bob Cole, District 2. The local option sales tax also covers the cost for AEDs for each of the sheriff's new vehicles. For more information on the local option sales tax, visit

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