Two awarded for life-saving actions

November 21, 2018

DIXON – A Lee County Sheriff’s Deputy and an 11-year-old girl were honored this week for their life-saving actions during two emergency situations.

The Lee County Board recognized Deputy Jason Heller for helping to save the life a 1-year-old baby on Sept. 28.

That day, Tiffany M. Koehler, 22, and her 1-year-old daughter were driving on Warp Road just before 5 p.m. when she pulled onto Franklin Grove Road and was struck by an eastbound semi, which pushed her Ford Focus into the westbound lane where it was struck again by a westbound pickup truck.

The baby was found unresponsive and bleeding from the mouth, and Heller performed life-saving techniques including keeping her airway open and beginning compressions before she was flown to MercyHealth Hospital in Rockford.

Two days later, she was breathing on her own, eating and responding normally.

Nurses and emergency personnel both said Heller’s actions saved the baby’s life, Sheriff John Simonton said Tuesday before presenting Heller with an award.

“Had Jason not performed these techniques, the baby would not be here today,” he said.

Simonton and Amboy Fire Chief Jeff Bryant also presented an award to 11-year-old Savannah Tooley Monday in Amboy for using quick thinking and helping to save her mother, who was unresponsive when the two were camping in a trailer at O’Connell’s Yogi Bear Park.

Savannah called 911, provided critical information to the dispatcher and also went to a neighbor for help. The trailer had high levels of carbon dioxide because an exercise mat was up against a heater vent cutting off airflow, and the mat had started to burn.

Next meeting

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica} The Lee County Board next meets at 9 a.m. Dec. 18 in the third-floor board room of the Old Lee County Courthouse, 112 E. Second St.

The agenda will be posted at leecountyil.com 2 days before the meeting.

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