Garfield County Jail staff saves inmate |

Garfield County Jail staff saves inmate

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Garfield County Jail deputies and medical staff revived an ailing inmate by using CPR Thursday morning.

Shortly after 6 a.m., Deputy Aaron Lopez was on guard in a large room in the jail called a “medium pod” when he and Deputy Cheri Hasenburg noticed an inmate coughing and having a hard time breathing. He asked him, “‘Are you OK?’ and the inmate basically said, ‘I’m having a hard time. I need my inhaler,'” according to Garfield County Community Relations Deputy Tanny McGinnis.

Lopez put in a call to the medical staff, and the inmate started to collapse.

“Aaron ran over to the inmate, grabbed him, laid him to the ground and called for backup,” McGinnis said.

While Deputy Lopez radioed for backup and medical assistance, Deputy Hasenburg and Deputy Esther Caywood relayed information for 911 and EMS units via telephone.

Deputy Toni Hauser, who has been a CPR instructor, and medical staff member Dolena Hart responded, assessed the inmate’s condition and immediately began CPR. Hauser and Hart rotated positions with Deputy Cole Edwards and Cpl. Max Patton. After four to five minutes they detected breathing and a pulse. Deputy Mike McLaughlin also helped out, McGinnis said.

EMS responders arrived, checked the inmate and transported him to Valley View Hospital. The inmate regained consciousness and was able to talk by the time he left the jail, McGinnis said.

The inmate’s identity was not released.

Sheriff Lou Vallario said, “I have no doubts when it comes to the dedication and ability of our detention staff, they work and train hard. The outcome of today’s events reminds me of their commitment to the safety and well-being of every inmate that comes through these doors.”

McGinnis said there’s a misconception that jail inmates are all bad people, but many are good people who have made a bad decision.

“When they’re in our care it’s just like any family member,” she said. “You’re going to do whatever it takes to take care of them.”

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