MORRISTOWN, Tenn. (WATE) — Two Hamblen County deputies and a nurse are being recognized after helping an inmate who was found unresponsive after an overdose.
Even with the proper training, the situation could be nerve-wracking for anyone.
“It was scary. I never dealt with something like that before,” Officer Angela Hodge said.
Officer Cassie Bell added, “For being my first time, going in there, all the females were yelling and we had to calm them down so that we can get the situation under control.”
Both Hodge and Bell said they’ve worked at the Hamblen County Jail for about two years.
“I want to help people. I really enjoy working with people and hopefully, you can make a difference in someone’s life. There are several people who come in with different issues and maybe you can be that one person to help them,” Hodge said.
The two officers have trained for all types of situations and a few weeks ago, their training was put to the test when an inmate snuck an illegal substance into the jail and overdosed.
“They thought they were doing heroin and it was laced with fentanyl and it was a lethal dose of fentanyl,” Sheriff Chad Mullins said.
Hodge added, “We had females knock on the door saying someone needed help and I was the first one to respond. She was actually not responsive at that time, so I started performing CPR until our nurse arrived.”
Officer Hodge said it took minutes for Bell and the jail nurse, Brandy Klein, to respond. All of their quick actions saved the inmate’s life.
“Get to them as soon as possible make sure they’re breathing, make sure they got a pulse, get some Narcan in them,” Klein said.
The inmate was taken to the hospital and returned back to jail the same day.
“I am extremely proud of them. They did exactly what they needed to do. And the nurses too. We got a great nurse is a staff,” Jail Administrator Teresa Laws said
Sheriff Chad Mullins said even with regular pat downs and wand scanners, illegal contraband getting into the jail is still an issue.
To help combat this problem, the department bought a new full-body scanner that all deputies will be trained on starting next week.
We’re also told CPR training is mandatory for all Hamblen County deputies and each patrol officer has Narcan on hand for situations just like this one.