An officer with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office was supervising a work detail Monday, June 12, when he suddenly collapsed. Six of the inmates he was guarding are now being hailed as “heroes” by the Sherrif’s Office for immediately jumping into action to get the officer help.
It was about 76 degrees outside with 100% humidity when the officer, who asked not to be identified, collapsed while supervising a work detail. Six of the inmates immediately started to render aid.
They removed his shirt and bulletproof vest to help cool him off before starting CPR. Another inmate grabbed the officer’s phone and dialed 911.
"When he started breathing, it was just real heavy and real fast," one inmate, Greg Williams, told WXIA.
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Paramedics and other officers soon arrived on the scene and took over medical care.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office shared a Facebook post June 16 praising the “ heroic acts of 6 individual inmates.” The inmates received a free lunch in the park, as well as desserts prepared by the officer’s family members.
The actions of these inmates take on an especially significant meaning after the murder of two officers by escaped convicts in Putnam County and the subsequent manhunt.
“We all know that Monday could have ended differently for our officer,” the Sheriff’s Office said.
Scott Berson: 706-571-8578, @ScottBersonLE