Hillsborough County deputies rescue 103-year-old woman during Irma

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Hillsborough County deputies broke their own rules during Hurricane Irma to rescue a 103-year-old woman.

Officials said once winds get to a certain level, they would not be able to respond to any calls. But they swayed the rules, said Colonel Donna Lusczynski who joined Good Day Tampa Bay on Thursday’s “Staying Safe” segment to discuss the rescue.

The agency received a 911 call about the woman, Rosemary Dunner, having a heart attack as the storm was over Tampa Bay.

The 911 dispatcher asked Dunner’s relative if she was breathing at the time. The relative responded, “Very lightly, but we can feel a pulse.”

Lusczynski said their district commander deemed it was safe for deputies to travel and transport Dunner, and two deputies agreed to venture out. Deputies Daniel Heffron and Anthony Forte headed to the home when there was no traffic, but high winds. They found Dunner and transported her to St. Joseph’s Hospital.

“Obviously, you saw the result,” she said. “We were able to help her. They don’t want to be sitting and waiting for the storm to pass. They want to be going out there and helping people.”

She added, “They should be proud of the work they did and commended because they put their lives at risk.”

And they were. After Dunner spent a couple of days in the hospital, she wanted to meet her heroes.

They all exchanged heartfelt hugs, and the deputies said they were happy to see her healthy again.

“You saved my life,” Dunner told them, and handed both deputies a box of chocolates.