The Vandalia Leader

Follow Us On:

NECC honors staff for lifesaving efforts

Posted on Thursday, May 9, 2024 at 10:06 pm

By Stan Schwartz

‘Saving one life may not change the world, but it changes the world for that one person.’

—Author Unknown

Eleven staff members of the North Eastern Correctional Center were honored with Lifesaver Awards last Wednesday for a series of incidents at the facility.

Warden Clay Stanton said not all lifesaving efforts have a positive outcome, but this time everyone survived.

Receiving awards for their heroic efforts were Jeremy Hansen, CSI; Gary DeTienne, CSI; Donald Lindsey, COII; Cassandra Cropp, COII; Mclanie Powell, LPN; Maranda Jameson, COI; Nicole Bordewick, COI; Cody Grant, COII; Shelly Hill, COIII; Vickie Utterback, LPN (was not there because of an incident the night before); and William Williamson, COI.

“On behalf of the administration and myself, we want to welcome all the guests,” said Warden Clay Stanton.

The facility’s visitors’ area was filled with family and friends of those receiving the awards, as well as, several of their fellow staff members.

“Today we’re here to recognize these employees who went above and beyond to help with lifesaving measures,” he said.

It’s important to honor these people, Stanton added, because “so many times you hear that corrections staff are not truly first responders. That’s not true at all. In a lot of cases our staff is the reason why so many lives are saved; because of what we do before the ambulance gets here.”

He noted that all the training the staff does makes a difference when it comes to saving lives inside the facility. He said the corrections officers take the time to work with the medical staff inside NECC to make a difference and create positive outcomes.

Stanton said he appreciated all the family members who came in to help with the recognition and celebration for what the staff had done.

Normally, the ceremony is held in the training trailer outside NECC’s fences. But with so many staff members being hon moved the ceremony to the Visitors’ area to accommodate the audience.

The admin staff reached out to the state representative, who sent resolutions for the staff, recognizing their heroic actions in saving lives.

“We received recognition from the Senate and the House,” Stanton said. Each staff person being recognized would also receive a lifesaver pin to signify their efforts.

The first incident, he said, occurred last October. Four staff members responded to an unresponsive offender. They administered CPR and Narcan.

“After a few minutes, the resident began to breathe on his own,” Stanton said.

The second incident also occurred last October and involved an unresponsive resident, Stanton noted. Five staff members responded. Four CO found the resident not breathing and performed several rounds of CPR. The resident nurse administered Narcan, and shortly thereafter, the resident started breathing on his own.

In the third incident took place December last year.

“We had a staff member in distress,” Stanton said. Two staff captains responded to help locate the staff member outside the facility. Law enforcement was contacted and the staff member was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

The only staff member who could not be there for the ceremony was Vickie Utterback, who Stanton said, had been involved in an incident the night before and was at home recovering.

According to Stanton, the Lifesaver Award is presented to staff who have taken extraordinary actions to save the life of another person on or off duty.

In his closing remarks, Stanton again thanked all the staff for their efforts and their family members who came to see them honored for their actions.

“This department and this institution is very proud of them,” he added. He then invited everyone to enjoy some punch and cake and to take photos with the staff members who were honored.