Breaking News:  On May 22nd, the Security Department received word that the officers from Quincy and Suffolk courts featured in this story were nominated to receive the Municipal Police Training Committee First Responder Recognition Awards for their life-saving actions. Chief Court Officer Jeanmarie Turley, Assistant Chief Court Officers Paul O'Rourke and Henry Cordero, and Court Officers Christoper Tufo, Brendan Foley, Mauricio Hernandez, and John Fitzgerald will attend the awards ceremony on June 8.

Court officers have been quick to use their First Responder training to save several lives at their respective courthouses over the past few months.

“We’ve raised the bar in terms of training, and our officers have risen to that bar - and then some,” says Director of Security Jeffery Morrow, who adds that all court officers and many associate court officers have now completed the same level of basic emergency medical training as police, fire, and other certified first responders. “When you consider the lives that have been saved, the effort to provide these skills to court officers has been well worth it. The ability of our officers to use these skills effectively, under intense stress, is remarkable.”

According to Mr. Morrow, court officers have administered CPR, Automated External Defibrillators (AED), and Narcan (naloxone) to 12 people in separate opioid overdose-related incidents since 2015, when the non-addictive, narcotic-reversing drug was first distributed to all Massachusetts courthouses. He adds that officers from Quincy and Lawrence won Trial Court Excellence Awards in 2016 for “similar life-saving actions, and there have been others."

Security Department data shows that since 2014, court officers have responded to an increasing number of serious medical emergencies in courthouses across the state. Nearly 800 incident reports pertaining to medical emergencies were filed in 2016. To provide officers with the skills they need to better manage the complex medical situations they often encounter, Security has increased the level of first aid training provided to officers in 2015 from basic first aid and CPR to First Responder certification. 

Life Savers: Court Officer Teams, by Courthouse

Edward W. Brooke Courthouse, Boston

The following court officers at the Brooke Courthouse in Boston used Narcan and CPR in March to save the victim of an apparent opioid overdose found in a second floor restroom:

  • Chief Court Officer Anthony Festa
  • Assistant Chief Court Officer Elliot Posada (now at Chelsea District Court)
  • Court Officer Robert Flaherty
  • Court Officer Richard Ryan
Brooke court officers
From left, Court Officer Richard Ryan, Assistant Chief Court Officer Elliot Posada, Chief Court Officer Anthony Festa, and Court Officer Robert Flaherty, from Boston's Brooke Courthouse.

Lowell District Court

A woman overdosing from opioids was discovered unconscious outside a courtroom in February. She was revived by the following court officers at Lowell District Court, who administered Narcan and CPR:

  • Chief Court Officer Kenneth Davis
  • Court Officer Andrew Mangan
  • Court Officer Christopher Searles
  • Court Officer Jack Arnold
  • Court Officer Michael Smith
Lowell district court officers
From left, Lowell District Court Officers Michael Smith, Andrew Mangan, John Arnold, and Christopher Searles. Not shown is Chief Court Officer (and occasional photographer) Kenneth Davis.

Quincy District Court

Nine court officers at Quincy District Court have worked together to administer Narcan, AED and CPR during three separate opioid overdoses that occurred in the lock-up since June 2016:

  • Chief Court Officer Jeanmarie Turley
  • Assistant Chief Court Officer John Cahill
  • Court Officer Liam Collins
  • Court Officer Thomas Fay
  • Court Officer Katelin Jenkins
  • Court Officer Paul O’Rourke
  • Court Officer Christina Ryan
  • Court Officer Christopher Tufo
  • Court Officer Jacob Underwood
quincy district court officers
From left, Quincy District Court Officers Katelin Jenkins, Thomas Fay, and Liam Collins; Chief Court Officer Jeanmarie Turley, Court Officer Christina Ryan, and Assistant Chief Court Officer John Cahill. Not shown are Court Officers Christopher Tufo, Paul O’Rourke, and Jacob Underwood.

Suffolk Superior Court

On January 31 at Suffolk Superior, Assistant Chief Court Officer Richard Linehan went into cardiac arrest while at work and was saved by fellow court officers using CPR and an AED. Officer Linehan is expected to make a full recovery and return to work soon.

“We were at the right place at the right time,” says Court Officer Mauricio Hernandez. “Richie collapsed without warning. Our training just kicked in and we did what we had to do to save him.”

Officers on the scene that day were:

  • Assistant Chief Court Officer Henry Cordero
  • Court Officer John Fitzgerald
  • Court Officer Brendan Foley
  • Court Officer Mauricio Hernandez
Suffolk Superior court officers
From left, Suffolk Superior Court Officers John Fitzgerald, Brendan Foley, Assistant Chief Court Officer Henry Cordero, and Court Officer Mauricio Hernandez.