X

Coweta prison guard lauded for saving choking inmate with Heimlich

Melvin Cameron
Melvin Cameron

Credit: Coweta County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Coweta County Sheriff's Office

An inmate at the Coweta County Detention Center thanked a quick-thinking guard for saving her life after she found herself choking during a recent meal, the sheriff’s office said.

On Monday, Officer Melvin Cameron was supervising the detention center’s evening meal when he noticed inmate Sylvia Dennis choking on her food. According to the agency’s account, he went to her and, after realizing she was unable to breathe, began to apply the Heimlich maneuver.

An image captured from surveillance video at the Coweta County Detention Center, where Officer Melvin Cameron saved an inmate choking on her food.
An image captured from surveillance video at the Coweta County Detention Center, where Officer Melvin Cameron saved an inmate choking on her food.

Credit: Coweta County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Coweta County Sheriff's Office

When he was unable to fully clear Dennis’ blocked airway after six attempts, Cameron had her sit down and lean over while he thumped her back with his hand, following first aid protocol. Cameron’s treatment worked, clearing Dennis’ airway so she could breathe again. She was later evaluated and cleared by the detention center’s medical team.

Explore3 Gwinnett inmates help save unconscious deputy

In a news release posted to Facebook, the Coweta sheriff’s office said Dennis credited Cameron with saving her life. Other inmates told the sheriff’s office they were grateful for Cameron’s lifesaving skills as well, the release said.

Cameron, a veteran of the jail division, was praised in the sheriff’s announcement, which said the agency was “not surprised” by his actions and that he “regularly goes out of his way to positively change the lives of his team members and inmate population.”

In other news: