Jail staff

Worcester County Commissioners recognized, from left, Sgt. Michael Adams, Sgt. George Shoepf, Cpl. Donyell Thornton and Cpl. Aaron Johnson (not pictured) for saving an inmate’s life at the Worcester County Jail on Oct. 5.

(Nov. 15, 2019) Four members of the Worcester County jail staff saved an inmate’s life on Oct. 5, when the inmate was found unresponsive in the holding cell he occupied while his paperwork was being processed.

The inmate was found to be unresponsive around 11:30 p.m., according to jail Warden Donna Bounds, who said Sgt. Michael Adams, Sgt. George Schoepf, Cpl. Donyell Thornton and Cpl. Aaron Johnson initiated emergency first aid and medical care. The team administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation and an automated external defibrillator. 

Adams, Shoepf, Thornton and Johnson and Wellpath medical staff continued care until Snow Hill Volunteer Fire Company paramedics arrived to transport the individual to Atlantic General Hospital. According to Bounds, the inmate is now in stable condition. Adams said the staff’s annual training helped him with this experience. 

“We just followed our training,” Adams said. “It was a team effort.” 

Adams said the experience reinforced his belief that teamwork is an integral part of his work. 

“If it wasn’t for everybody doing something, I don’t know what would’ve happened,” Adams said. 

Bounds said correctional officers are conscientious of human life. 

“It’s a tough job,” Bounds said. “You have people come in who have possibly done wrong, but haven’t been convicted — we don’t judge them. We provide safety and security for all who come through the jail.” 

Adams, Schoepf, Thornton and Johnson were recognized by the Worcester County Commissioners at their Nov. 5 meeting. Johnson could not be present. 

“Young men, we thank you for your service,” said Diana Purnell, president of the Worcester County Commissioners. “We thank you for what you’ve done. Some people say, ‘I don’t feel like a hero,’ but I guarantee you that inmate and his family look at you as heroes.” 

Bounds said that the recognition was a proud moment. 

“All of the officers — and these four — really are an example of what the correction officers here are trained to do. They do a fantastic job.” 

Adams had advice for those working in occupations that could involve emergency situations.

“Stay up on your training,” Adams said. “Take CPR or AED training. Don’t be afraid to act.” 


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