Officer Ivan Sample

Metro Corrections Officer Ivan Sample, who is nearing his fifth year working at the jail, encountered several emergencies during one of his shifts last week. 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- An officer inside Louisville Metro Corrections recently used some special training to help save the lives of multiple inmates.

Officer Ivan Sample, who is nearing his fifth year working at the jail, encountered several emergencies during one of his shifts last week. Sample said he knows danger is always lurking but admitted he doesn't always watch his back.

"It's always in the back of my head, but I just don't pay any attention if there's any type of emergency," he said. "I'm going up in there regardless."

Sample said the incidents started with two people who had overdosed in a dorm. He said the inmates were unresponsive, so he performed CPR and used Narcan.

"It was about a good 10-15 minutes before we got him back," Sample said.

At the same time, another officer was working on the other inmate who had overdosed.

"This particular one didn't even have a pulse, and he was blue around the lips," Sample said. "As I was doing CPR, I was telling this individual, 'You're not gonna die. You're not gonna die, not on my shift, not in this jail.'"

Both inmates eventually started breathing again and were rushed to the hospital.

But before Sample could catch his breath, there was another emergency. He said an inmate had used a sheet to hang himself. 

"Once we had gotten to the door and saw the inmate hanging, our training just kicked in," he said. "I told the one officer, 'I'm going to hold him up to take pressure off his neck from that sheet,' while she rips it down."

That inmate survived, too, but it took a lot out of Sample.

"I was drained," he said. "I was dripping was dripping with sweat, and my emotions were extremely high."

Daniel Johnson, president of the Louisville Corrections FOP Lodge 77 said he noticed something peculiar when looking at the incident reports for that night. 

"I happened to notice two that we're back to back, about an hour apart, on the same floor," Johnson said. "It was almost like a red flag to me."

After seeing Sample's name on multiple incident reports, Johnson reached out and learned there were even more incidents.

"You know, 'Hey, what's going on? Are you doing all right?'" Johnson said of his initial conversation with Sample. "And then, to find out, that he's actually now saved five people in the last two weeks with critical incidents."

Johnson said Sample often works overtime and skips lunch, but he's also earned the respect of the inmates.

"When they see officer Sample, they try to hug him," Johnson said. "A lot of times, they want him to pray with them. They've seen him go out of his way to save lives."

And Sample said after the response he got from one of the inmates he helped save, he knows he did the right thing.

"He came back and he said 'You saved my life, Sample, '" he said.

Sample's actions have also gotten the attention of some other people in the city. Next month, he will be honored by Metro Council.

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