Life Saving Award
Woodmen of the World will present the organization’s Life Saving Award to four Lexington County Detention Center correctional officers, one Lexington County Sheriff’s Department deputy and one former Detention Center correctional officer during an awards banquet that will be conducted at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9 at the organization’s office, 3620 Augusta Road, West Columbia.
Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said Woodmen of the World will present the Life Saving Award to Sgt. Melissa Lyons, 43, of Lexington; Correctional Officer Margaret Young, 42, of Lexington; Correctional Officer Albert Schuck, 53, of West Columbia; Correctional Officer Phillip Weiger, 28, of Irmo; and Deputy Justin Ashley, 25, of Lexington. Former Correctional Officer Julie Davis, 33, also will receive the Life Saving Award.
On May 5, 2012, Davis encountered a female inmate at the Detention Center who was in a state of physical distress and requested assistance from fellow correctional officers, Metts said. Lyons and Young assisted Davis. The three correctional officers were able to render aid to the female inmate and prevented the female inmate from suffering life-threatening injuries.
“The prompt response and quick actions of Julie, Melissa and Margaret saved the inmate’s life,” Metts said.
On October 16, 2012, Schuck and Weiger found that a male inmate at the Detention Center was unresponsive in his cell, having suffered a laceration to his forehead, Metts said. Schuck and Weiger declared a medical emergency in the housing unit and determined that the inmate was finding it difficult to breathe.
Rescue breathing techniques were conducted on the male inmate until medical personnel arrived, Metts said. The inmate was transported to Lexington Medical Center, where the inmate later was treated and released.
“Albert and Philipp followed their training as correctional officers and reacted quickly when they saw an inmate experiencing a life-threatening situation in his cell,” Metts said. “Their commitment to provide professional correctional services saved the inmate’s life.”
On July 1, 2012, Ashley extinguished a stove fire that threatened to engulf a home on Keisler Road near Gilbert, Metts said. Ashley responded to a call concerning the activation of a burglar alarm at the home.
Ashley could hear that a smoke detector also had been activated inside the home, Metts said. Ashley looked in a window and saw heavy smoke flowing into a hallway inside the home.
Ashley entered the home through the garage and found flames emanating from an object that was on top of a burner that had been left in the “on” position on the stove in the kitchen, Metts said. Ashley quickly moved through the house in order to make sure that no one was inside the residence. After determining that no one was in the residence, Ashley returned to the kitchen and extinguished the fire in the object that had been left on top of the burner on the stove.
“Lexington County Fire Service firefighters told me that the stove-top fire would have escalated into a fire that involved the whole structure of the residence if Justin had not acted quickly to extinguish the fire and eliminate the threat to the residence,” Metts said.
“Justin risked his own life when he entered a residence in order to extinguish a fire that was actively burning,” Metts said. “Justin was motivated to protect other persons and ensure that the fire did not burn down the whole house.”