AUGUSTA — When the Maine House of Representative convened March 30 at the Augusta Civic Center, State Representative Bill Pluecker, I-Warren, spoke on the House Floor to highlight the heroic action of Maine State Prison corrections officers and staff.
“While the day was overshadowed by political party divisiveness surrounding the passage of the upcoming two-year budget, Representative Pluecker found it imperative to highlight the courageous actions of Mainers who work in a dangerous environment due to the COVID-19 health pandemic to help protect the well-being of residents of the state prison system,” a news release.
Pluecker was notified of the incident that occurred December 21 by Sergeant Curtiss Doyle and Commissioner Randall Liberty when a resident at the State Prison was found to be unresponsive. Security staff performed CPR to keep the resident alive even while the medical staff were being called to the scene to pronounce the resident deceased. Corrections officers were able to detect a heartbeat and the resident was transferred to Maine Medical alive.
The resident was put on life-support for three days before passing. The resident was an organ donor and because of the courageous action by the corrections officers three individuals were able to receive what they needed. These three individuals would not have been able to obtain what they needed without the relentless actions of corrections officers who have to endure mandated overtime, short-staffing, and wages that have not been competitive.
Full letter from Sergeant Curtiss Doyle:
Good morning Sir hope all is well in your world. I am writing this request to you in hopes that you can help me achieve recognition for a group of our dedicated staff who went well above the normal call of duty. These staff members displayed the dedication and resolve by their acts that needs to be recognized beyond the facility level.
On December 21st, 2020 Resident George Riddle was discovered to be unresponsive and staff began to administer CPR in hopes of saving his life. Medical staff were on scene during this incident and were very much involved throughout. The security staff without wavering a second continued to perform CPR.
During this time Doctor Ali was called to the scene to pronounce Mr. Riddle deceased, staff continued the life saving measures regardless of what some might have thought of it being an impractical endeavor. Officer William Mann to everyone’s amazement was able to detect a pulse on Mr. Riddle. Mr. Riddle was then removed from our facility and transported to Maine Medical Center with his heart beating.
Mr. Riddle was placed on life support after arriving at MMC. His family made the decision to remove him from the life support three days later. Mr. Riddle had declared himself an organ donor.
The medical staff removed some of his organs to be transplanted in people who would receive the gift of a better life made possible by Mr. Riddle and his choice to become an organ donor. The people who received these organs may never know of Mr. Riddle or the group of Correctional Staff that refused to give up and walk away. They stayed the course refusing to accept that despite all their efforts Mr. Riddle was going to pass away.
When Officer Mann discovered that faint heartbeat, he gave three strangers the greatest gift possible, the gift of a better life. The attending physician at MMC informed Dr. Raziuddin who informed Warden Magnusson, that if Mr. Riddle had left the facility without a heartbeat, we would not have been able to utilize Mr. Riddle’s organs. This statement best describes the acts of our staff on December 21st, 2020.
Sir I have been here for a while now and have had the privilege of meeting & working with some of the best people a person could hope to meet. I have witnessed or been involved in some incidents throughout my career to date. However, I have not to date heard of any more important actions performed by my fellow co-workers on December 21st, 2020.
I believe those selfless actions were way above the normal call of duty, and they need to be recognized for it. The dedicated professionals that make up the Department of Corrections work in the shadows and are often overlooked and underappreciated. On the rare occasion we are covered by the press it is mostly of a negative nature, this is a great opportunity to hopefully change the narrative and most importantly recognize the group of professionals that made us all so proud.
Staff who resuscitated Mr. Riddle:
Sergeant Chris Rocque
Officer William Mann
Officer William Sewell
Officer Chris Pease
Officer Jason Meservey
Officer William Deetjen
Med. Tech. Ruth Libby
Nurse Vanessa Reed – Chapman
Nurse Rick Liberty
Nurse Sue Morey
Nurse Mary Chaplin
Doctor Ali Raziuddin
Sir: I would like to see these staff members receive Legislative Recognition & a Proclamation for preforming duties above and beyond the normal call of duty.
Sergeant Curtiss Doyle