GarCo jailers resuscitate inmate

Quick action saved man’s life, spokeswoman for Sheriff’s Department says

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Quick action by a team of Garfield County jail personnel saved the life of an inmate Thursday morning, jail officials said.

Jail workers performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on an inmate who collapsed around 6:20 a.m. Thursday.

“When I saw him he was dead. There was no pulse; he wasn’t breathing,” said Toni Hauser, a detention officer for more than seven years at the jail and a previous CPR instructor for the Garfield County Sheriff’s Department.

Hauser was one of those who worked on the inmate, bringing him back to consciousness before emergency crews arrived to take him to Valley View Hospital.

Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Tanny McGinnis said the man survived, but she had no information on his condition or the cause of his collapse, and hospital privacy laws prevent the release of his name.

The incident began when deputies Cheri Hasenburg and Aaron Lopez noticed the man bending over and coughing as he walked. They asked if he was OK, but as he went to his bunk Lopez saw him start to collapse and helped him to the ground.

They called for backup, and Hauser and jail medical staff member Dolena Hart arrived and began CPR.

Deputy Mike McLaughlin ran up and down stairs to bring medical gear, while deputy Max Patton managed other inmates to keep the room safe.

Eventually, Patton and deputy Cole Edwards took over CPR. After four or five minutes of treatment, the inmate began to respond, and ambulance workers arrived.

Hauser said deputies hooked the inmate up to a defibrillator at one point, but the automated machine provided feedback that its use wasn’t necessary and they should continue administering CPR.

Hauser said she has performed CPR before, but never in the jail.

“I don’t think there’s a greater team of people than the ones that showed up (Thursday),” Hauser said. “They saved a life.”

Said McGinnis, “They used what they trained for. I watched it. They were a well-oiled machine. It couldn’t have been any more professional and by the book.”

She said people don’t always understand what happens in a jail.

“Jailers care for inmates,” McGinnis said. “They make sure that they have the food they need. If they have trouble and need help, they’re there for them. They step up and they take care of them, and they have their backs.”


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