Several Lifesaver Awards and Distinguished Service Awards were given to corrections officers two weeks ago during a ceremony held at the Women’s Eastern Reception Diagnostic Correctional Center (WERDCC).
The awards were given for heroic efforts during four different situations.
Three awards were given for an event that took place on February 23.
COI Steven Leake, who was given a Distinguished Service Award, was conducting a security check on Housing Unit 5A, Wing 2 when he observed an offender lying on her left side on the floor with her face turning blue.
He immediately called Code 16 due to the offender being unresponsive and appeared to be not breathing. He then called a 10-5, noting that an officer needs assistance.
Both COII Brandelin Poulin and COI Megan Swank, who both received Lifesaver Awards, responded to assist.
COII Poulin pulled a strap away from the offender’s neck, which was restricting airflow while COI Swank cut the strap.
On April 24, COI Kerri Reading, who received a Lifesaver Award, and COI Melody Lepley, recipient of a Distinguished Service Award, were conducting count on Housing Unit 8B lower. COI Reading entered the shower stalls and observed an offender sitting on the shower stall floor with a broken down razor blade in her hand and a laceration to her wrist.
COI Reading immediately called a Code 16 and directed the offender to hand her the razor blade.
COII Floyd Leake, who received a Distinguished Service Award, responded to assist. The offender acted disoriented so COI Reading took the razor blade, which was lying in the offender’s open hand and handed it to COII Leake. Medical responded, assessed, and bandaged the offender.
On April 16, COI Heather Neman, who received a Lifesaver Award, was conducting close observation checks in Housing Unit 5A, Wing 2 when she found an offender unresponsive.
While shouting and pounding on the cell door, COI Neman observed something around the offender’s neck.
COI Kathy Paxton was exiting another wing so COI Neman motioned her to assist.
COI Paxton radioed for COIII Josh Moles, who received a Distinguished Service Award. He announced a 10-5 noting that an officer needs assistance upon his arrival.
COI Paxton and COI Neman entered the cell and removed the item from around the offender’s neck.
COIII Jack Wright and COI Ammy Moore also received Distinguished Service Awards.
On April 26, COII Danel Hawkins, who received a Lifesaver Award, responded to Housing Unit 5A, Wing 2 for a Code 16 called by COI Jessica Evans. COI Evans, recipient of a Distinguished Service Award, was conducting wing walks when she observed something tied around an offender’s neck and she was twisting it tighter. COI Evans and COII Hawkins gave multiple directives to stop and release the object.
COII Hawkins applied a short bust of O/C pepper spray, causing the offender to release her grip on the object.
Also receiving Distinguished Service Awards were COI Eldonna Chism and COI Brenda Goodson. The ceremony featured WERDCC Warden Angela Mesmer as the emcee. The WERDCC presented and retrieved the colors. The WERDCC Personnel Club provided refreshments.