Six current and former Lexington County law enforcement officers are being recognized for their life-saving efforts.
Woodmen of the World will present its Life Saving Award to four detention center correctional officers, a sheriff’s deputy and a former detention center correctional officer during an awards banquet tonight at the Woodmen of the World’s West Columbia office at 3620 Augusta Road.
The active duty officers being honored include correctional officer Sgt. Melissa Lyons, 43, of Lexington; correctional officer Margaret Young, 42, of Lexington; correctional officer Albert Schuck, 53, of West Columbia; correctional officer Phillip Weiger, 28, of Irmo; and Deputy Justin Ashley, 25, of Lexington. They will be joined by former correctional officer Julie Davis, 33.
The officers are being recognized for three separate life- and property-saving acts during the past year.
On May 5, Davis came upon a female inmate at the county detention center who was in physical distress and asked for help from Lyons and Young. The three officers helped and are credited with saving the inmate from life-threatening injuries.
“The prompt response and quick actions of Julie, Melissa and Margaret saved the inmate’s life,” Sheriff James Metts said.
On Oct. 16, Schuck and Weiger found a male inmate at the detention enter who had a cut on his forehead and was unresponsive. The man was having trouble breathing and the two performed rescue breathing assistance until medical personnel arrived. The inmate was taken to Lexington Medical Center, where he was treated and later released.
“Albert and Philip followed their training as correctional officers and reacted quickly when they saw an inmate experiencing a life-threatening situation in his cell,” Metts said. “Their commitment to provide professional correctional services saved the inmate’s life.”
On July 1, Ashley extinguished a stove fire aa home along Keisler Road near Gilbert after he had responded to a burglar alarm at the home.
“Justin risked his own life when he entered a residence in order to extinguish a fire that was actively burning,” Metts said. “Justin was motivated to protect other persons and ensure that the fire did not burn down the whole house.”
The best present of all
Kylie Marchese’s birthday wish was to help others.
And the Chapin Elementary fourth-grader recently had that request granted in a big way.
After hearing a morning announcement at her school about the effort to help a schoolmate who is battling cancer, Kylie wanted to get involved.
“I asked my parents if I could donate my birthday money to Grace ( Claytor, a second-grader who is battling cancer),” Kylie said. “I just did what I felt like was right.”
Kylie rounded up nearly $80 in bills and coins that she had carefully collected in a plastic sandwich bag and brought the money to the school’s fundraiser for Relay for Life, which raises funds and awareness for cancer treatment. She was the first one to make a donation but school officials said her generosity has inspired many similar actions.
After word of Kylie’s gesture spread, the school became aware of more stories of students sacrificing their allowances and evening donating money from the tooth fairy to help Grace.
So far the school’s donations have topped $2,600.
Students and teachers from the school will join cancer survivors, caregivers and other participating groups for a Relay for Life event May 3 at the Harbison Recreation Center.
To learn more about Relay for Life or to donate, visit www.relayforlife.org.