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Corrections personnel honored for saving inmate’s life

Officers and nurses act quickly to help inmate in cardiac distress.

Sheriff Michael F. Strada recently recognized and awarded several members of the Sheriff’s Office Bureau of Corrections with honors for their respective roles in saving the life of an inmate during a medical emergency.


On the evening of May 8, 2015, corrections officers Brandon Fazio and Jeffrey Hilbert observed a prisoner who had collapsed and was unresponsive. They immediately contacted medical staff and ordered all inmates back to their cells.


Sergeants Paul Reiher and Eric Groeger responded to their location along with nurses Jean Thompson and Cathy Toth. After determining the patient was in cardiac distress, Thompson and Toth began CPR. Corrections Officer Fazio and Sergeant Reiher began to prepare an Automated External Defibrillation device (AED) for use and, in conjunction with the medical staff performing CPR, delivered several rounds of defibrillation to the patient. The patient was ultimately airlifted to Morristown Memorial Hospital where he was placed on life support.


For their actions in preserving the inmate’s life, Corrections Officer Brandon Fazio, Sergeant Paul Reiher, licensed practical nurse Jean Thompson and registered nurse Cathy Toth were presented with the Sheriff’s Life Saving Award while Sergeant Eric Groeger, Corrections Officer Jeffrey Hilbert and Corrections Officer Michael Scuzzese were presented with the Honorable Service Award.


Sheriff Strada thanks each of the above named personnel for their diligence, initiative and rapid action while in the line of duty. Their successful efforts to save a person’s life reflect great credit upon themselves and the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office Bureau of Corrections as a whole.



From left to right: Corrections Officer Brandon Fazio, Sergeant Paul Reiher, Sheriff Michael F. Strada, LPN Jean Thompson and RN Cathy Toth.