June 3, 2014
Reprinted from afscme.org
Lucasville, Ohio – Tragedy can strike in an instant. Last month, shortly after the second shift ended at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF) in Lucasville, an instant turned into desperate moments for several corrections officers who helped save the life of one of their own.
Corrections Officer Jason Hamilton, 25, of Jackson, Ohio, and a member of the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association (OCSEA)/AFSCME Local 11, was at the wheel of his personal vehicle when a pickup truck crossed the center line and struck him head-on. Several other corrections officers (and members of OCSEA) were driving behind Hamilton, less than a mile from the prison, when the accident happened. One of them, Corrections Officer Mike Frankel, rushed over and got into the seat behind Hamilton and kept his airway open.
“He held him until the EMTs got there, kept his airway open and saved his life,” OCSEA Capt. 7330 Pres. Randy Hiles told The Portsmouth Daily Times.
Corrections Officer Gary Hunley ripped his shirt and used it to apply pressure to control Hamilton’s bleeding. He and COs John Little, Les Buckner and others also assisted at the accident scene, helping the other driver and directing traffic until emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and police arrived.
Hamilton, employed with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction since December, was taken to a local hospital in critical condition. He was recently released from the hospital and admitted into a rehabilitation facility, where he is recuperating from his injuries. The other driver died.
Hiles was not surprised by the heroic actions of the officers. “Our officers jumped right in and this shows the caliber of officers that work at SOCF,” he said.
“This is just the culture of our work in corrections,” said OCSEA Corrections Assembly Pres. Jimmy Adkins. “We’ve got each other’s back no matter the circumstance, on-the-job or off. I commend these union brothers for their heroism.”
OCSEA Pres. Christopher Mabe, also an AFSCME International vice president, added, “The level of professionalism and commitment demonstrated by these everyday heroes in the face of this crisis is truly unmatched. Their actions more than proved that point.”