Six Georgia inmates have been praised for saving the life of a correctional officer after he collapsed while they were on a work detail.
The prisoners were weeding and cleaning a local cemetery when the unidentified guard passed out, face-down, in hot and humid temperatures, authorities said.
The inmates rushed to the man’s side, turned him over and removed his gun belt.
Then the prisoners removed the officer’s bulletproof vest and began CPR. Another inmate used the man’s cell phone to call 911.
At first, the guard did not seem to be getting any air, the prisoners said.
“When he started breathing, it was just real heavy and real fast,” inmate Greg Williams told CBS19.
Paramedics arrived and helped revive the guard.
Polk County Sheriff Johnny Moats saluted the prisoners’ actions.
“They really stepped up in a time of crisis and showed that they care about my officers,” Moats told the station Tuesday. “That really speaks a lot about my officers, too, [and] how they treat these inmates. They treat them like people. Like family.”
The incident was a far cry from the acts of two other Georgia inmates who killed two guards while escaping a prison van and then led authorities on a massive manhunt before they were caught in Tennessee last week.
“We all know that Monday could have ended differently for our officer,” Moats said.
“It wasn’t about who is in jail and who wasn’t," Williams said. It was about a man going down and we had to help him."