Several officers and employees were honored during a Lifesaver Award ceremony held December 12 at the Women’s Eastern Receptional Diagnostic and Correctional Center (WERDCC) in Vandalia.
COII Sonny Orbin received a Lifesaver Award for efforts during an incident on June 7, 2017. On that day, an officer, who wishes to have their name not published, called a Code 16 in Food Service in the Dining Room. COII Orbin noticed an offender choking, asked the offender if they were choking, and the offender responded by nodding their head while coughing.
A few seconds later, the offender stopped choking and could not breathe. COII Orbin asked if he could help her and she shook her head yes. He performed the Heimlich maneuver, utilizing three to four abdominal thrusts until the food item became dislodged and she began to breathe again. COII Orbin asked the offender if she was okay and the offender replied yes and thank you.
The unnamed officer did received a Distinguished Service award.
Thirteen days later, COI Jeffrey Patton was working in the Food Service dining area when he observed an offender choking. He responded and directed the offender to raise her arms above her head. He then placed both of his arms around her abdomen area and gave two quick abdominal thrusts, dislodging the food she was choking on.
On August 1, another situation occured when an offender went into labor at the institution. An emergency outcount was prepared when it became apparent the baby was going to be born at the institution.
LPN Shannon Grote stepped in to give the offender the necessary medical treatment needed within the scope of her ability to ensure the safest birth she was able to. During the delivery, Grote, with the assistance of Jennifer Delozier and other staff, had to remove the umbilical cord, which was wrapped around the baby’s neck, saving he baby’s life.
Delozier assisted after delivery in drying and cleaning the baby, as well as making sure the baby’s airway was clear so she could breathe. Grote also assisted EMTs from the Van-Far Ambulance District upon their arrival by preparing the IV to be placed in the offender’s arm, allowing EMTs the ability to properly check over the baby to ensure she was healthy as could be. Her quick actions saved the baby’s life and possibly the offender’s life.
Distinguished Service Awards were also given to Steven Shoemate, COIII Roger Henke, COI Laura Oliver, CSI Cara Harms, COI Jennifer Barnes, COII Donna Brown, COIII Allen Thomas, and COII Dana Shade.
Then on August 9, Records Officer III Nici Brown noticed a coworker choking on her lunch. Brown then performed abdominal thrusts, causing the item to dislodge. Luckily, the coworker sustained no injuries from the incident.
The Lifesaver Award ceremony featured Warden Angela Mesmer. The WERDCC Honor Guard presented and retrieved the colors. The WERDCC Personnel Club provided the refreshments.