Several employees with the Women’s Eastern Reception Diagnostic and Correctional Center (WERDCC) were honored during a Lifesaver Award ceremony held last Friday in Vandalia.
Along with several family members of the employees, the recipients were joined at the event by WERDCC Warden Angela Mesmer and DAI Deputy Director Cyndi Prudden.
The first situation from February 5, 2016 was shared involving COII Rebecca Teson, COI Mary Ferry, COI Nyla Reighley, DOII David Duckworth, LNP Mary Stockton, and an officer who did not want his name published.
According to a write-up, COII Teson approached a cell in Housing Unit 5 and observed an offender laying on her assigned bed with her head covered by blankets and no sign of life. She immediately entered the cell, removed the blankets and found the offender had bra straps wrapped around her neck with purple discoloration to her face.
A medical emergency was called and COII Teson began to cut the bra straps from around the offender’s neck. COI Reighley and COI Ferry arrived and CPR was initiated. COI Duckworth and an unnamed officer arrived and assisted with CPR. LPN Stockton arrived and had 9-1-1 called with an ambulance requested as she then began to assist with CPR. After about eight minutes, the offender began to show signs of life and was later taken to the hospital.
This situation involved COI Ferry, COII Geoffrey Haug, and COI Reighley.
On February 9, 2016, COI Ferry called a medical emergency in Housing Unit 5. COII Haug announced a razor blade was involved and responders were needed. An offender had used a razor blade to slice up her left forearm.
COI Ferry and COII Haug were able to have the offender surrender the razor without any use of force. COI Ferry and COI Reighley entered the cell and wrapped the offender’s arm in towels and a T-shirt to stop the bleeding.
On February 15, 2016, a situation occurred involving DOII Duckworth, COI Ferry, and COI Reighley.
COI Reighly requested COII Duckworth report to Housing Unit 5.
When he arrived, he saw COI Reighley at the door of an offender’s room. The offender was standing with a towel tied around her neck and was turning purple. COII Duckworth, COI Reighley, and COI Ferry entered the cell. While the offender was resisting their efforts, they removed the towel from her neck.
On February 22, 2016, a medical emergency was announced by COI Brian Chase in Housing Unit 5 for an offender having seizure-like activity. COII Bryan Berrey, COI Chase, and COI Ferry realized the offender was not only having seizure-like activity, but had also wrapped her bra around her neck several times. COII Berrey and COI Chase immediately utilized their safety scissors and cut the bra away from the offender’s neck, and she began breathing more easily.
On April 8, 2016, Office Manager Candace Lower and Administrative Office Support Assistant Michelle Brooks were eating lunch with a co-worker when Michelle noticed a strange look on their co-worker’s face.
She asked if she was alright, but her co-worker didn’t respond.
She asked again and her co-worker still did not respond. Michelle alerted Candace that their co-worker was choking, so Candace performed abdominal thrusts.
However, she was unsuccessful until her co-worker motioned that Candace’s hand position should be lower. Candace adjusted her hand position, performed another abdominal thrust and dislodged the food item for her co-worker.
The WERDCC Honor Guard presented and retrieved the colors while the WERDCC Personnel Club served refreshments.