Pa. inmates help CO who collapsed from apparent seizure

One of the inmates pushed a distress button in the cellblock while another kicked loudly on a door to a neighboring cellblock to get the attention of a CO


Karen Shuey
Reading Eagle, Pa.

BERN TOWNSHIP, Pa. — The Berks County Prison Board on Wednesday presented certificates of recognition to two inmates who took action when a correctional officer collapsed on duty last week.

Chief Deputy Warden Jeffrey Smith told the board that the two men, whom prison officials said they did not want to name out of respect for their victims, were out of their cells preparing to distribute lunch to fellow inmates when a correctional officer collapsed on the cement floor while suffering from an apparent seizure.

He said one of the men pushed the distress button in the cellblock while the other man kicked loudly on the door to a neighboring cellblock in an attempt to get the attention of the officer in that post.

Smith said the actions taken by the two men led to the quick discovery of the officer. While he declined to name the officer citing medical privacy, he said the officer is doing better and has returned to work.

“It's very possible that the outcome could have been different had these two not done what they did,” he said as the two men stood before the board with their hands and ankles shackled to a chain around their waists.

Berks County Commissioner Kevin Barnhardt commended the two men for stepping up to help someone in need.

“You two did something that a lot of people may have not done in your positions,” he said. “This is a testament to your characters, and we wanted to recognize those lifesaving efforts.”

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©2019 the Reading Eagle (Reading, Pa.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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