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Leon County Corrections Staff Saves Choking Inmate

Leon County Corrections Officers Saves Choking Inmate
Posted at 5:45 PM, Apr 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-15 14:31:00-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- Some alert staffers at the Leon County Jail spring into action to save an inmate.

Surveillance video has been released showing a Leon County Corrections Officer Shay Cain rushing to help a choking inmate.

"It was a traumatic situation down there," said Captain Chuck Davis. "We have somebody that if we didn't act quick, probably wouldn't be with us today."

Correction officers, nurses and doctors worked together -- trying the Heimlich maneuver, back blows and chest compressions.

"The patient was going unconscious," said medical director Dr. Maria Garcia. "[The] patient was going completely cyanotic. He was not breathing, so he was on the floor. They were trying to help him."

Eventually, the staff used a suction device -- and a chunk of an orange came out.

"Baseball," said director of nurses Natacha Barkley, describing the size of the chunk. "It was big."

A staff of around 60 correctional and medical personnel oversee more than a thousand inmates every day. They say they respond to incidents quite often -- and, while they might not be as serious as this one, they say they treat each one with care.

"An inmate -- consider as your mother, your father, your sister, your brother -- and they're people," said Barkley.

Once the inmate recovered, he was able to thank the men and women who saved his life.

"It was emotional, but it was a good thing, because as a team, we did what was we was supposed to do -- and that was to make sure our inmate was okay," Barkley said.

"We're proud of all of them," Davis said. "Makes me proud to wear this green uniform and watch them down there working."

The staff says they responded to another medical emergency that same day -- where an inmate needed a defibrillator.