Life savers: St John Officers Philip Budding and Lee-Anne Barr with Community Corrections Service Managers Belinda Bidois and Dean Wilson.Here at Corrections we’re always proud of the energy and dedication of our staff; they spend every day helping offenders turn their lives around – and sometimes they go beyond the call of duty and show exceptional courage, initiative and skill.

Two Palmerston North Community Corrections service managers were recently presented with our Chief Executive’s Special Commendation Award for their fast actions that saved an elderly offender’s life late last year.

While talking to administration staff at reception, the offender collapsed from an apparent heart attack, cracking his head when he fell to the ground.

Service Managers Dean Wilson and Belinda Bidois quickly attended to the man, who had no pulse and had turned blue, administering CPR and mouth-to-mouth until an ambulance arrived.

Belinda says they had no time to think about how they were feeling.

“We just knew we had to do CPR or he wasn’t going to survive. We had both attended Work and Living Skills First Aid courses for offenders as observers and remembered the CPR mantra ‘30 to two no matter who,’ which means 30 compressions to two breaths. So Dean and I looked at each other, pretty much recited this and Dean started compressions and I did the mouth-to-mouth,” says Belinda.

The man’s wife, visibly upset during the incident, was well looked after by other staff.

By the time the ambulance was ready to leave for hospital the man was sitting up and talking to his wife. 

Belinda and Dean were given their awards on 19 February in front of staff, family members and the St John Ambulance officers who attended the scene.

Photo caption:

Life savers: St John Officers Philip Budding and Lee-Anne Barr with Community Corrections Service Managers Belinda Bidois and Dean Wilson.