Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office honors its best

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  • LISA JAMES/PressSheriff Ben Wolfinger, left, congratulates Jonathan Traw on his Medal of Valor award at the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office Employee and Volunteer Awards and Recognition Ceremony in Coeur d'Alene on Thursday, March 16.

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    LISA JAMES/PressSheriff Ben Wolfinger, left, congratulates In-House Volunteer of the Year Sharon King on his Medal of Valor award at the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office Employee and Volunteer Awards and Recognition Ceremony in Coeur d'Alene on Thursday, March 16.

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    LISA JAMES/PressSheriff Ben Wolfinger leads the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office Employee and Volunteer Awards and Recognition Ceremony in Coeur d'Alene on Thursday, March 16.

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    LISA JAMES/PressMedal of Valor award winner Jonathan Traw, right, is congratulated following the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office Employee and Volunteer Awards and Recognition Ceremony in Coeur d'Alene on Thursday, March 16.

  • LISA JAMES/PressSheriff Ben Wolfinger, left, congratulates Jonathan Traw on his Medal of Valor award at the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office Employee and Volunteer Awards and Recognition Ceremony in Coeur d'Alene on Thursday, March 16.

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    LISA JAMES/PressSheriff Ben Wolfinger, left, congratulates In-House Volunteer of the Year Sharon King on his Medal of Valor award at the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office Employee and Volunteer Awards and Recognition Ceremony in Coeur d'Alene on Thursday, March 16.

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    LISA JAMES/PressSheriff Ben Wolfinger leads the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office Employee and Volunteer Awards and Recognition Ceremony in Coeur d'Alene on Thursday, March 16.

  • 3

    LISA JAMES/PressMedal of Valor award winner Jonathan Traw, right, is congratulated following the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office Employee and Volunteer Awards and Recognition Ceremony in Coeur d'Alene on Thursday, March 16.

COEUR d'ALENE — Kootenai County sheriff's Deputy Jonathan Traw didn't have a moment to think.

After a man had been reported missing under the Spokane River for five minutes June 19, Traw immediately dove into the murky waters he was patrolling.

Traw, exposing himself to potential injury without the appropriate dive gear, quickly found the man, loaded him onto his patrol boat and administered CPR.

It was enough to prolong the life of the Spokane man, who later died.

The 30-year-old's harrowing and selfless act earned him the Medal of Valor Thursday at the annual Kootenai County Sheriff's Office and Volunteer and Awards Ceremony.

The event at Hagadone Event Center had more than 325 guests, ranging from orange-clad search and rescue workers, to deputies, dispatchers, volunteers and elected officials.

Of the many awards handed out by Sheriff Ben Wolfinger, Traw's was saved for last.

"This means a lot," said Traw, who also won the Life Saving Award. "It's a great honor. I did not expect or really need it, but it's a great honor to be recognized in front of my co-workers and volunteers, family and friends."

The Sheriff's Office recognized its longtime employees before jumping into more than 10 categories of awards, highlighted by the efforts of life savers.

Longtime Deputy Jason Shaw was given one of three Life Saving Awards after saving the life of a stabbing victim June 19 near Fernan Saddle.

After an altercation, a man had been stabbed near his heart in the remote area. When Shaw responded, he immediately provided first aid.

"It was a pretty significant injury," Shaw said. "He was dying. He couldn't breathe and was pretty much blue and gray in color.”

Shaw put a chest seal on him to relieve the pressure from his lungs.

He was quick to recognize the other lifesavers in his department when asked about his award.

"I can think of so many other people that saved people's lives who weren't given an award," Shaw said. "Everybody is deserving of it. But I am honored and appreciate the fact that somebody recognized it. I never thought twice about getting an award."

Among the heroes were deputy Wade Kiedrowski, who noticed an inmate hanging in her jail cell in April and was blue in the face. Deputies Shawn Ward, Christopher O'Kelly, Austin Norris and Jospeph Durbin were quick to help, and ultimately saved the woman's life.

Also last year, off-duty Capt. Andy Boyle and his son, Lane, helped an unconscious man who had a heart attack at Frontier Ice Arena and performed CPR. The man lived.

While Wolfinger sang the praises of his staff and volunteers throughout the night, he ended the event thanking the wives in the building.

"I am blessed to work with these people and a great group of volunteers, but we couldn't do it without our spouses. They're the ones who put up with the crazy hours and the calls in the middle of the night. Missed birthdays and holidays, and we thank them very much."

Staff awards

Jail Deputy of the Year: Deputy Rebecca Lederle

Operations Deputy of the Year: Deputy Josh Leyk

Sheriff's Citations: KP Patchett, Talina Moyer, Dispatcher Stacy Syth, Deputy Chip Hanson, Capt. Andy Boyle, Lane Boyle, Max Clutter, Max Buccowich, Joseph Ghodsee, Dale Sprouse.

Vision Award: Deputy Alana Hunt, Deputy Brad Wolfinger, Deputy Jeremy Prosch, ECO Carey Howard;

Unit Merit Awards: 911 Communications group of Shelly Renner-Allen, Kayla Asher, Ellie Creighton, Cary Howard, Jennifer Keyes, Linda Lane and Derek Wilson; KCSO Sonar Team of Sgt. Tom Knight, Sgt. Scott Maxwell, Sgt. Jon Brandel, Deputy Shane Vrevich, Deputy Jeff Howard, Deputy Bob Bjelland, volunteer Dale Anderson; KCSO Dive Rescue Team of Sgt. Will Klinkefus, Sgt. Jon Brandel, Sgt. Ward Crawford, Deputy Bob Bjelland, Detective Todd Jackson, Deputy Dale Johnson, Deputy Ryan Miller, Deputy Jeremy Guerin, Detective Derrick Hollenbeck, Deputy Justin Arts, Deputy Travis Franciullo, Deputy Eric Breakie, Deputy Jonathan Traw, Deputy Eric Boardman, Hauser Fire's Gary Mobbs.

Life Saving Award: Deputy Wade Kiedrowski, Deputy Shawn Ward, Deputy Christopher O'Kelly, Deputy Austin Norris, Deputy Joseph Durbin.

Life Saving Award: Deputy Jason Shaw.

Life Saving Award: Captain Andy Boyle.

Medal of Valor: Deputy Jonathan Traw.

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