Lifesaving Honors Awarded to Linn County Sheriff's Office Employees

By Lee Hermiston, Reporter

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By Richard Pratt

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- Several members of the Linn County Sheriff's Office have been given Life Saving Awards by Sheriff Brian Gardner for their efforts to save the lives of citizens and inmates in 2013.

On March 4, deputy Austin Schmid and nurse Kelly Ehrisman provided medical care to an inmate who was discovered to be unresponsive and cool to the touch in a jail holding sale.

On May 18, deputies Jeff Norton and Chad Watkinson responded to a two-vehicle collision on Highway 13 north of Central City. The female driver of a van involved in the collision was deceased upon arrival and the deputies discovered the woman's daughter, buckled in a car safety seat, lodged in the front windshield and dashboard of the van. The deputies removed the child seat, but the girl was not breathing and had no pulse. The deputies performed CPR on the child until paramedics arrived on scene. The girl is still recovering, but likely would not be alive today without the car provided by the deputies, Gardner said.

On July 26, jail nurses Dana Murray and Kristy Bower provided life saving care to an inmate who had a seizure after a court appearance.

On Oct. 14, deputy Ben Brink and Sgt. Andy Humphrey, who are also paramedics, responded to a possible cardiac arrest call that resulted in a motor vehicle accident. The men aided emergency medical service personnel by intubating the elderly patient, providing ventilations, establishing an IV to deliver cardiac mediation and overseeing the resuscitation process. The man later made a full recovery.

On Nov. 19, deputy Kevin Eliason, nurse Christina Maynard and correctional officer Melissa Gunzenhauser saved the life of an inmate who attempted suicide.

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