From Tennessee Department of Corrections
NASHVILLE – Two members of the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) Strike Force team were recognized for their heroic action after saving the life of a correctional officer at the DeBerry Special Needs Facility (DSNF) earlier this month.
On January 9, 2023, Tactical Officer Ruben Estevez and Tactical Officer Tyler Briggs were exiting the facility when they were approached by Correctional Officer Emeka Oguoma, who was in a visible state of distress. Officer Oguoma signaled to the two men that he was choking and could not breath. Under the guidance of TAC Officer Briggs, TAC Officer Estevez immediately began performing the Heimlich maneuver until Officer Oguoma’s airway was clear.
“This is why training is important. If I didn’t have that training, he probably would have died in my arms,” said TAC Officer Estevez. “I was at the right place at the right time and had been prepared in the right way.”
Officer Oguoma, who was not able to be present at the ceremony, wrote in an email, “Thank you, Ruben & Tyler. My family is looking forward to meeting you one of these days to say thanks for allowing God to use you to bring our dad back home on that fateful day.”
Both Briggs and Estevez are longtime TDOC employees, having worked in facilities prior to promoting to the Strike Force team, which performs specialized operations and response around the state.