Life Saving Award

Receiving the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office’s Life Saving Award this week were, from left, deputies Samuel Pennington, Jonathon Olszewski, and Zachary Koch, LPN Brenda Bredlow, and deputies Tanner Schroeder and Jacob Danner.

Every now and then a resolution comes before the Jefferson County Board of Supervisors that stands out from the dozens of others the panel sees every year.

One such resolution, with an especially high degree of humanity to it, was approved May 10.

This special, two-page document recognized the heroic efforts of five deputies and one nurse who saved the life of a man who had attempted suicide by hanging in his Jefferson County Jail cell.

The 41-year-old was found the night of June 6, 2021 pulseless and non-breathing. He was in this lifeless state for more than eight minutes, but is alive today, with a second chance at life.

Honored for their quick thinking and actions during this week’s Jefferson County board meeting for May were LPN Brenda Bredlow, along with deputies Jacob Danner, Zachary Koch, Jonathan Olszewski, Samuel Pennington and Tanner Schroeder.

According to the Jefferson County Law Enforcement and Emergency Management Committee and Sheriff Paul Milbrath, the male inmate of the Jefferson County Jail tried to hang himself and to increase the likelihood of this happening, had tied a bedsheet around his cell door to prevent jail staff from entering.

By video surveillance, Koch noticed that the inmate was hanging himself from a bedsheet noose in his cell.

“Deputies entered A-Pod and started life-saving measures on this inmate,” the resolution commending the jail crew stated. “Deputies Danner, Schroeder and Pennington worked as a team to cut down the inmate from outside the cell bars, because he had tied the cell doors shut with a bedsheet. Once access was gained, Deputy Pennington determined that the inmate was non-breathing and pulseless. CPR was immediately started. Deputies were assisted by LPN Brenda Bredlow and Deputy Danner provided rescue breaths.”

The resolution said Bredlow was quick to attach defibrillator pads to the inmate and Olszewski provided stabilization, assisting in keeping an open airway for the inmate during the CPR process.

The defibrillator indicated that a shock to the inmate’s heart was advised, because he had no pulse.

“The (defibrillator) was activated, but no breathing or heartbeat was detected,” the resolution said. “Deputies rotated duties to allow continuous administration of chest compressions and rescue breaths. Bredlow was able to obtain a heartbeat and the inmate began breathing on his own.”

In total, there were between six and eight rounds of CPR administered, along with one activation of the defibrillator.

Jefferson EMS arrived and took over care of the inmate, who was eventually transported to Mercy Hospital in Janesville, where he recovered fully. He was then taken to Winnebago Mental Health for treatment for his emotional well-being.

“This inmate has reached out to the sheriff’s office and expressed his sincere appreciation to the jail staff and nurse for saving his life,” the resolution stated.

The commendation went on to say that the jail team’s efforts clearly resulted in saving the life of the inmate and, “demonstrate professionalism, exemplary service, and dedication to duty, which reflect great credit upon themselves, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and Jefferson County.”