Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith proudly reports that Deputy Sheriff Johnathon Cihanek was recently honored by the Southern Dutchess Exchange Club for his acts of heroism which occurred at a Putnam Valley home on December 18, 2013.
Shortly before 10AM on December 18th, Deputy Cihanek was on patrol when he was dispatched to a private residence to check the welfare of a 70 year-old female. The welfare check was requested by the lady’s brother who had spoken to her over the telephone and feared that she may have suffered a stroke.
Upon arrival, Deputy Cihanek knocked on the front door and got no response from anyone inside the house. He was able to enter the residence through the unlocked front door where he noticed two dead dogs lying on the floor of the living room. Believing that the animals suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning, the deputy left the building for fresh air.
A short while later, Deputy Cihanek reentered the residence and found the unconscious elderly homeowner on the floor of her bedroom. He dragged the woman out of the residence and administered oxygen. Shortly thereafter, the victim regained consciousness and was transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital.
Further investigation revealed that carbon monoxide was not present inside the dwelling. Apparently the homeowner euthanized the dogs and then attempted suicide by drug overdose.
In presenting a plaque to Deputy Cihanek at a dinner in Poughkeepsie, Andrew Trivero, President of the Southern Dutchess Exchange Club praised him saying that the deputy displayed exemplary courage and determination in searching a residence that he believed to be filled with carbon monoxide in order to save the life of the homeowner.
Each year, the Southern Dutchess Exchange Club honors first responders for the work they do day to day. Recipients are nominated by their agencies and are chosen by the club. The five categories of award presented each year are: Heroic Acts, Teamwork Within a Squad, Lifetime Achievement, Child Mentoring and Lifesaving.
Sheriff Smith, who attended the awards ceremony, commended Deputy Cihanek for his outstanding achievements. “A veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Cihanek exemplifies the best qualities of a well-trained and dedicated police officer. Police officers like Johnathon make Putnam County a safer place to live, work and raise a family. We are certainly proud of his accomplishments.”