By Lt. Ronald Ladd, AA/PIO
Valley State Prison

When a coworker at Valley State Prison collapsed on the recreation yard, other staff sprang into action.

Around 1:55 p.m. on March 6, Health Care Assess Escort Officer Steven Reyes saw Psychiatric Technician (PT) Anthony Borges fall to the ground on the yard in an apparent medical emergency.

Officer Reyes announced the medical emergency via the institutional radio and rushed to Borges. Correctional Officer Lucas Walls reached PT Borges and began checking for signs of life but could find none. When Correctional Officer Rosa Gonzalez-Avila arrived, she began Cardiopulmonary Recitation (CPR) with chest compressions, while Officer Reyes began rescue breaths.

Correctional Sgt. Steve Rodriguez instructed Central Control to call 911 for outside medical assistance.  Officer Walls took over providing CPR chest compressions, giving Officer Gonzalez a break.

The prison emergency response vehicle arrived and Nurse Magdalena Walls applied the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to PT Borges’ torso.  The team continued trying to resuscitate Borges.

Approximately three cycles of the AED coupled with numerous cycles of CPR were administered by Officers Gonzalez, Walls, Eddie Castillo, Mike Morales, Carlos Chavez and Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) Aubrie Piland.

At 2:19 p.m., nearly 25 minutes after Borges collapsed, his heart began to beat again and he was breathing, as well as opening his eyes. At 2:20 p.m., the outside ambulance arrived on Facility A and assisted with additional medical evaluation and preparation for transport to an outside hospital. The ambulance left the prison at 2:26 p.m. with Borges, but he wasn’t alone. Correctional Officer Ricardo Perez traveled with Borges in the back of the ambulance to the hospital.

Borges was admitted to the hospital and treated.

“If I had made it out of the institution and those staff hadn’t been there, I’d have died,” Borges said.

Warden Raythel Fisher, Jr., said he’s proud of the staff.

“I am honored to have staff who were able to maintain their composure, and react appropriately in such a stressful and critical situation,” he said. “I truly believe if not for their efforts, the outcome would have be drastically different. On this date, a life was saved.”