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Cheshire firefighters honored with Heart Starter Award for lifesaving heroics

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Two Cheshire firefighters were honored with the Heart Starter Award on March 26 by the Ontario County Safety Council. The prestigious award was given in recognition of their crucial role in reviving a patient from cardiac arrest following a severe car accident. The award ceremony took place at the annual banquet hosted by the council at Clifton Springs Country Club.


The incident that led to this recognition occurred on July 19, 2023, when emergency teams responded to a report of a two-car collision at the intersection of State Rt 21 and Deuel Rd in the Town of Canandaigua. Ontario County Deputy Keith Cutri, alongside Firefighter Robert Finger and other first responders, found an unresponsive individual in one of the vehicles. They performed immediate life-saving actions, including chest compressions and the application of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), which successfully revived the patient.

Firefighter Robert Finger, Captain Bryztin Johnson, Deputy Keith Cutri, and Deputy Timothy Durgan were all awarded the Dr. Ben Lankheet Heart Starter Award for their rapid and effective response. Their actions not only exemplified teamwork and professional excellence but also underscored the importance of quick intervention in saving lives during critical emergencies. The patient, whose life was saved through their efforts, was transported to Strong Hospital for further treatment, highlighting the lifesaving impact of their heroic intervention.