The Colonel’s Commendation is the highest commendation an employee at Two Bridges Regional Jail can achieve; this year, the award was presented to Correctional Officer Matt Atwood.
Two Bridges Regional Jail Correctional Administrator Col. Mark Westrum presented the award to Atwood in front of the Lincoln and Sagadahoc Multicounty Jail Authority on March 9.
Atwood was selected for the commendation because, while on break in the staff dining room, he recognized a co-worker in distress, Westrum said.
Atwood immediately recognized his co-worker’s airway was blocked and applied the Heimlich maneuver, Westrum said.
“As a result of his quick actions and response, he very likely saved someone from serious bodily injury,” Westrum said. “He may have even saved him from choking to death.”
Staff are normally alone when they are in the dining area and Westrum said he “shudders to think” what would have occurred if Atwood was not there.
It was “a heroic intervention,” Westrum said. Westrum also hailed Atwood for his dedication to Two Bridges Regional Jail and his strong work ethic.
“We’re very fortunate to have him,” Westrum said. The jail authority gave Atwood a standing ovation as Westrum presented him with the commendation.
Atwood’s wife, Lindsey, and daughter, Maizy, were in attendance to witness the commendation.
“It’s an honor to have you in our employ,” Westrum said to Atwood.
Longtime Two Bridges Regional Jail Correctional Officer Charlie McCue was also recognized at the meeting. McCue recently celebrated his 30-year anniversary with Lincoln County corrections. He has held his job since well before the construction of Two Bridges, when the jail was in the basement of the sheriff’s office.