MAYVILLE – Two Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Deputies, whose lifesaving actions went above and beyond to help an injured motorist, have been honored by Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I- 57th District) with Liberty Medals, the highest recognition bestowed by the State Senate.
Deputy Jason Beichner and Deputy Christopher Howlett’s quick response to a catastrophic motorcycle accident on Route 83 in November 2016 helped save the life of the accident victim.
“A hero is someone who proceeds despite overwhelming odds. When dispatched to an accident scene, deputies never know exactly what they care going to be confronting. Deputies Beichner and Howlett stepped forward when seconds meant the difference between life and death, and provided exemplary care. Their courageous actions ultimately saved the life of motorcyclist – when a tragic outcome likely would otherwise have been the case,” said Senator Young.
“Deputies Beichner and Howlett exemplify all we could ask for in our first responders. They acted decisively, filling the role of law enforcement officer and providing medical attention. We are lucky to have them serving our community. The Liberty Medal was established to recognize the everyday heroes in our midst. We are grateful for our courageous deputies because their actions exemplify how our law enforcement officers are always willing to give everything to answer the call of duty,” Senator Young said.
“I am extremely proud of deputies Beichner and Howlett. Their quick actions helped to save the life of this accident victim. I wish to thank Senator Young for recognizing Deputies Beichner and Howlett with the Liberty Award. This is a tremendous honor,” said Chautauqua County Sheriff Joseph Gerace.
“I consider it a great privilege to work for the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office. I work alongside some of the best and bravest there is to offer. I consider myself lucky to have been in the right area at the right time and to have the tools and skillset needed on that day. I would like to commend the victims friends who did all they could with the means they had. If it wasn’t for their actions we couldn’t have done our part,” said Deputy Jason Beichner.
“Serving the people of Chautauqua County as a member of the Sheriff’s office is a privilege. We were fortunate to be in the right place at the right time that day to make difference in someone’s life. Sheriff Gerace has implemented a training program that prepared us to act quickly when we are called upon, no matter the situation. It is an honor to be recognized alongside my dedicated colleague,” said Deputy Christopher Howlett.
On November 18, 2016, Deputy Jason Beichner and Deputy Christopher Howlett were dispatched to a motor vehicle accident on Route 83. The victim, a 28-year old male, had been traveling westbound when he attempted to pass another car. Upon returning to his lane, he lost control of his motorcycle and crashed into a guardrail.
The accident was severe and the motorcyclist had suffered an amputation of the leg above the knee, a potentially life-threatening injury. He was also experiencing massive blood loss.
Arriving on scene, Deputies Beichner and Howlett employed their first-aid training and agency issued medical equipment, and were able to administer emergency medical care. The deputies applied two tourniquets on the motorcyclist’s leg to stop the loss of blood from the victim’s wound and prepared him to receive additional medical attention. These quick actions were ultimately lifesaving for the victim, who likely otherwise could have bled out.
After Advanced Life Support (ALS) personnel from South Dayton Fire Department and Alstar Ambulance loaded the victim onto an awaiting Starflight medical flight they applauded the two Deputies. The Starflight team also credited the swift actions by the Deputies as being instrumental in saving the motorcyclist’s life.
Deputies Beichner and Howlett each received a New York State Senate Liberty Medal and a Senate Resolution recognizing their valiant actions. The Liberty Medal was established in 2014, as the highest honor a Senator can bestow upon a constituent. It is awarded to individuals who have merited special commendation for exceptional, heroic, or humanitarian acts on behalf of their fellow New Yorkers.