October 29, 2009

Trauma Star crew learns how to escape from water crash

Click to see photos taken during training exercise

Monroe County – Crew members from Monroe County’s Trauma Star helicopter underwent two days of intensive training in October, learning how to escape from a helicopter that has crashed into the water.

According to Aviation Division Director Brooks Bateman, once a helicopter ditches into the water, it remains on the surface for no more than five seconds, then flips upside down. The training, offered by Lee County Sheriff’s Office Waterborne SWAT and MEDSTAR Critical Care Transport Service, taught flight crew members how to get out safely.

In August of this year, MEDSTAR lost a helicopter when it had to ditch off shore of Captiva. The crew escaped safely and each of them said this training was what gave them the skills to do so.

“We are very fortunate to be able to offer this crucial training to our flight crew,” said Undersheriff Rick Ramsay, who oversees the Sheriff’s Aviation Division. “It is truly training which may, some day, save their lives.”

Training participants started with a 75 yard canal swim, followed by ten minutes of treading water. They were then strapped into a special cage which simulates the cockpit of a helicopter. They are dunked upside down and have to escape. They also learned to use  a Helicopter Emergency Egress Device (HEED), also known as “spare air”.

Sheriff’s SWAT team members receive Sniper training

Several members of the Sheriff’s Office Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team attended Sniper training in Manatee County recently.

Sniper groupSnipers shooting

Deputy John McGee, who has been a Sheriff’s Office Sniper for many years, attended along with Snipers-in-training Deputies Dave Chavka, Chris Galls and Paul Bean. Initially, all trainees worked at distances of between 100 and 300 yards, getting used to their weapons and building confidence and consistency with their shots.  They all then participated in stress drills, learning to shoot with an elevated heart rate and adrenaline rush. At the conclusion, they were all able to shoot their sniper rifles at ranges up to 1000 yards, all scoring hits on their targets at that extreme range.

SWAT, Traffic and Bomb teams at Key West Kids Event

The Sheriff’s Office Special Weapons and Tactics Team, Traffic Enforcement Division and Bomb Squad were on hand last week at a Kids Event held at Key West’s Bayview Park, sponsored by the Boy’s and Girl’s Club.

Kids day event

Deputy and SWAT Sniper John McGee shows off a special camouflage suit and explains it’s use to kids at the event. In the background is Deputy Trevor Wirth, also representing the SWAT team.

kids day event

Training Sgt. And Bomb Squad member Mike DiGiovanni shows off the Bomb Squad robot, used to remotely examine possible explosive devices.

Sheriff’s Office at Red Ribbon event

Red Ribbon Event

Members of the Sheriff’s Office made an appearance at a Red Ribbon event held at Big Pine Charter School Monday. In the photo, Lt. Gene Thompson and School Resource Deputy Sonya Morgan spoke with kids at the school about the importance of staying away from drugs and alcohol.

October 27, 2009

Islamorada Safety Day

traffic talks to kids

Traffic Enforcement Deputies Andrew Leird (left) and Jason Keith talk to kids about traffic

Kids wave at trauma star

Kids wave as Trauma Star lands at Founder’s Park for Safety Day.

Bomb Squad talks to kids

Bomb Squad Member Detective Jason Madnick talks to kids about the Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad.

A Safety Day was held at Founders Park in Islamorada last week. Over 200 children  from Treasure Village Montessori School and Island Christian School participated.

Kids learned about many aspects of safety, from personal safety to the importance of wearing a bicycle helmet and keeping your home and your belongings safe. They had the opportunity to see demonstrations from many different units of the Sheriff’s Office, including traffic enforcement, School Resource Officers, the Sheriff’s Bomb Squad and SWAT Team and Dive Team. They also heard from Victim Advocates, Trauma Star and Islamorada Fire/Rescue.

October 22, 2009

Sheriff's Office offers free training: How NOT to Become a Victim of Crime

Want to learn how NOT to be a victim of crime? Now is your chance. The Sheriff's Office is sponsoring three free classes to members of the public.

In the one hour class, the instructor will talk about how to avoid becoming a victim of:

The class will be held November 4th from 12 noon to 1 p.m., and from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Florida Keys Community College Public Safety Building, Room 218. On November 5th, the class will be held in Marathon at the Sheriff's Office Aviation Hanger Training Room from 12 noon to 1 p.m.

Please register for the classes by Friday, October 30th. Call Sheriff's Office Training Executive Assistant Vicki Jason at 305-292-7010 now because there a limited number of slots available for the class.

See the attached biography of the Instructor, Kevin Gilpin, the Executive Director for the National Crime Stop Program.

October 16, 2009

Safety Expo

In the attached photo: This past Saturday, the Sheriff’s Office participated in a Kids Safety Expo sponsored by Home Depot in Marathon. On display was the Sheriff’s Command Post manned by Sheriff’s Office Reserve deputies; members of the Traffic Enforcement Unit, the SWAT Team and the Bomb Squad were also there to talk with kids and their families. There was a large turnout and the families who attended had a terrific time. Special thanks to Dep. Jacek Syzmanski (Traffic), Deputies Christian Galls, Joel Slough and David Lariz (SWAT), Sgt. Michael DiGiovanni (Bomb), and Reserves Rose Crum, Sgt. Kara Luna and Lt. Dan Zieg (Command Post).

October 16, 2009

Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is a special time for children, but children don’t always know what is and is not safe. If your children are trick or treating on Halloween, there are several tips to follow for their safety.

Having a Halloween party is a good alternative to the tradition of trick or treating. It gives kids an opportunity to have a good time in a supervised and safe atmosphere.
For more information about having a safe and happy Halloween, and for some great links to web sites with more information and with fun Halloween activities for kids, visit our web site at www.keysso.net.

October 14, 2009

Sheriff’s Office receives assistance from the Monroe County Coalition to tackle underage drinking

Sheriff with Healy

In the photo: Sheriff Bob Peryam recently accepted an ID Scanner from Monroe County Coalition for a Safe and Drug Free Community volunteer Ted Healy. The scanner is used to quickly check identifications in bars, liquor stores, convenience stores and other locations. The scanner will show a visual alarm if the ID is expired or if the person presenting it is underage. It also helps identify fake IDs, and records ID transactions so you can prove a specific ID was checked at a specific time.

The Coalition has also provided other equipment to the Sheriff’s Office, including a special flashlight that detects the presence of alcohol on a subject’s breath and in open containers of alcohol, and a UV flashlight that detects the holographic state seal on driver’s licenses. They also provide funding in the form of a grant for the Sheriff’s Office to perform special operations targeting underage drinking and drug use, such as bar and convenience store checks.

“This partnership between law enforcement and the Coalition is truly making a difference when it comes to underage drinking and drug use,” said Sheriff Peryam. “The equipment and funding they provide to our agency allows us to concentrate more of our time and resources on these extremely important efforts.”

Clean up a success

College Road Clean Up Crew

In the photo: Some of the volunteers from the College Road clean up held on Stock Island October 3rd pose with Waste Management General Manager Greg Sullivan and one of his trucks. Waste Management hauled away all the waste collected during the clean up.

October 1, 2009

Golf Tournament raises money for needy kid’s Christmas

Keys Cops for Kids will be holding a Charity Golf Tournament at the Key West Golf Club on Sunday, November 15th, 2009. ALL proceeds will go to the Toyz for Keyz Kidz toy drive and will be used to buy new Christmas toys for underprivileged children here in Monroe County!

The tournament is open to the public and we are extending a special invitation to all law enforcement agencies.  Registration for the tournament begins at 6:30 a.m. with a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. The format of the tournament is a Four-Person Scramble, and is limited to the first 36 teams to register.

Prizes will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place teams, for the longest drive and closest to the pin for men and women. Million Dollar Shot - $25,000 hole in one.

There will be a raffle as well – you must be present to win.

Lunch will be provided and an Awards dinner will follow for players.

Registration is $100.00 per person and one new unwrapped toy per team.

Toyz for Keyz Kidz toy drive

Toyz for Keyz Kidz is a toy drive organized by Keys Cops for Kids, comprised of volunteers primarily from the Sheriff’s Office. Every year, the group distributes new toys to hundreds of needy families to ensure all Monroe County kids will have a great Christmas holiday.

All donations accepted and volunteers are always needed. In the lower Keys, contact Deputy Scott Ward at 305-797-8027; in the middle Keys contact Detective Deb Ryan at 305-797-0143 and in the upper Keys contact Sgt. Dennis Coleman at 305-797-0884.