Sgt. William Gifford and K9 Titan. (Credit: Collier County Sheriff's Office)
Sgt. William Gifford and K9 Titan. (Credit: Collier County Sheriff's Office)

Collier County Sheriff’s Office K9 team receives the Lifesaving Award

A Collier County Sheriff’s Office K9 team was recently honored for their heroic actions saving the life of a person who ingested too many pills.

Sgt. William Gifford and K9 Titan were presented a Lifesaving Award during a ceremony Tuesday at the agency’s promotions and awards ceremony. The Lifesaving Award is reserved for those deputies who render life-sustaining rescue efforts to a person whose life is in immediate jeopardy.

On Jan. 14, Sgt. Gifford and Titan responded to a call for a missing person around Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park in North Naples. The Collier County man had ingested a large number of pills.

Sgt. Gifford and K9 Titan joined multiple deputies on the ground, in the air and on the water, along with state wildlife officers and park rangers, in searching for the missing man.

Sgt. Gifford and K9 Titan began a search in a heavily wooded area near the park estuary. The area was so remote and densely forested that deputies searching by aircraft could not see the victim. Sgt. Gifford and K9 Titan entered the dangerous terrain, which was nearly impassable, and found the man.

The man, 30 years old, was lethargic, unable to speak. Deputies had to carry him out of the woods. He was taken to the hospital for further evaluation. Without the actions of Sgt. Gifford and Titan, the man could have died that day.

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