Life-saving responders receive hero award


XENIA — A group of first responders were honored Saturday for their quick thinking and actions to save a man’s life.

Luke Neikirk, a lieutenant with the Cedarville Township volunteer fire department; Don Parvin, captain with Cedarville University campus security; Jayson Neri, Cedarville University campus security officer and member of the Cedarville police department; Jason Robison, with the Village of Cedarville’s police department; and Dr. John Vitaliti, an anesthesiologist, were awarded the Sheriff Gene Fischer Hero Award for their life-saving action during the annual Xenia Chamber of Commerce award dinner.

Vitaliti was playing tennis with Abraham Awabdy, of Xenia, when he went into cardiac arrest and collapsed to the ground on a court at CU. Within a couple of minutes, Cedarville University’s campus security and village of Cedarville police took immediate action that saved Awabdy.

“I had just got home from work when I saw a cardiac arrest notification on my pager,” Neikirk said. “I went to the scene, and campus security and Cedarville PD were already doing compressions. After using an AED to administer a shock, we retrieved a pulse and gave him care as he was transported to the Miami Valley Hospital.”

After receiving medical care, Awabdy was able to walk out of the hospital and return home three days later.

The first-year award was part of the annual Xenia Chamber of Commerce gala that was held at the Greene County Fairgrounds. This is the first year this award has been presented, which is in memory of Fischer, who served in law enforcement in Greene County from 1983 until his death on Nov. 16, 2021. He began his career with the Fairborn Police Department as a volunteer officer. In 1983, he joined the Xenia Police Division, and he was selected as the Greene County Sheriff in 2003.

“These heroes continue to show tremendous humility despite their amazing actions, much like Sheriff Fischer would have done,” the chamber said in a release.

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