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Corrections employees receive awards

A number of local Missouri Department of Corrections employees were recognized recently with Lifesaver Awards.

Among them were CO I Mark Schrum and CO I Kenneth Chipman, who work at the Farmington Correctional Center; and CO II John Hagerty, CO II Scott McFarland, CO I Rodney St. Gemme, CO II Jack Feller, CO II Brian Davis, CO I William Dennis, CO I Shawn Peery, CO I Dan Conway, and Randy Firebaugh, an electronics technician at the Eastern Reception Diagnostic Correctional Center in Bonne Terre.

Lifesaver awards are given to Corrections employees who have demonstrated outstanding performance by taking extraordinary action to save a life.

Farmington Correctional Center awards

Schrum performed the Heimlich Maneuver on an offender who was choking on Nov. 2. He successfully dislodged an item that was blocking the inmate’s airway.

Chipman and two other corrections officers responded to a fire alarm in a housing unit at the Potosi Correctional Center Jan. 31, 2004.

When they arrived, it was discovered an inmate had set materials in his cell on fire, thereby creating a potentially dangerous life-threatening situation.

The three officers immediately extinguished the fire and removed the inmate from his cell and arranged for immediate medical attention.

Prison officials said Chipman and the officers not only saved the inmate’s life and the lives of other individuals in the area, but also saved significant dollars in fire damage.

Chipman currently works at Farmington Correctional Center.

Eastern Reception Diagnostic Correctional Center awards

Hagerty, McFarland, and St. Gemme assisted a wheelchair-bound offender who began choking on a piece of food Jan. 5, 2004

Hagerty and McFarland lifted the offender to his feet and St. Gemme performed an abdominal thrust which successfully dislodged the food.

Feller observed that an offender was losing consciousness due to choking on food. Feller performed abdominal thrusts to dislodge the food.

Davis and another officer, no longer employed by the department, assisted with an offender who began having seizures on March 2, 2004.

They found the offender not breathing and began administering chest compressions in an attempt to revive the offender. They continued to do so until the ambulance crew arrived.

Administrators said even though the offender did not survive, Davis and the other officer performed at the highest level of professionalism in order to save the individual’s life.

On Aug. 11, Dennis observed an offender choking on food that had become lodged in his throat and immediately administered abdominal thrusts until the food was dislodged.

Peery and Conway discovered two offenders who tried to hang themselves on July 13, 2004.

Peery was the first person on the scene where the first offender tried to kill himself inside his cell. He went into the cell and removed the hanging device, preventing serious injury or death.

Conway was responding to the scene to assist Peery, when he discovered a second offender attempting suicide in the same manner. Conway took prompt action and removed the hanging device in the second offender’s cell, preventing him for serious injury or death.

On Sept. 3, 2003, Firebaugh, a corrections officer at the time, observed an offender standing against the wall apparently choking.

Firebaugh approached the offender and asked him if he was indeed choking, which he confirmed. Without hesitation, Firebaugh performed the Heimlich Maneuver on the offender to dislodge the food item that was blocking his airway, allowing him to breathe once again.

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