IMSI corporal honored for saving choking inmate’s life

Cpl stands with warden and deputy warden

An Idaho Maximum Security Institution corporal received the Idaho Department of Correction’s Silver Cross Award at the Idaho Board of Correction’s meeting at the Treasure Valley Community Reentry Center on March 20, 2018.

On Feb. 28, 2018, Cpl. Wayne Baerlocher performed the Heimlich maneuver on an inmate who was choking in his cell.

Here is how IMSI Warden Al Ramirez described the incident when nominating Baerlocher for the award:

[An inmate in a cell activated the emergency call light. When Cpl. Baerlocher arrived, the other offender in the cell stated [his cellmate] was choking.  

Cpl. Baerlocher had the offender not involved go to the shower so he could help [the inmate]. He immediately asked him if he could breathe. [The inmate] placed his hands to his throat. 

Cpl. Baerlocher told [the inmate] he was going to place his hands on him to perform the Heimlich Maneuver. He performed 3 abdominal thrusts. On the third one [the inmate] began to cough and began moving air into his lungs. He then stopped and waited for medical staff to arrive in the unit for further assessment. 

When Sgt. Wilson arrived at the cell, he performed one more additional abdominal thrust in order to clear the airway a little more if possible.  Medical staff then arrived and [the inmate] was given some water and cleared to remain in his cell.

The Silver Cross Award is presented to Idaho Department of Correction staff members who display prompt or alert action that results in a life being saved or the prevention of injury to others.

Pictured from left: Warden Al Ramirez, Cpl. Wayne Baerlocher, Deputy Warden Sue Wessels.

Story published: 03/20/2018
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