Two prison guards saved a prisoner's life at the Groveland Correctional Facility after the prisoner was overdosing on heroin.
The two guards weren't just coworkers — they are father and son. Like a lot of law enforcement, Corrections officers Ken and Brandon Poddany downplay the dramatic work they did. But at the end of the day, they saved a life a man's life and they did it right next to each other.
Just before New Year's Eve inside the Groveland prison, Brandon saw two inmates trying to carry another inmate from the yard. He went to check it out.
"I noticed his eyes were rolled back in his head, he was foaming from the mouth," says Brandon Poddany.
He called an emergency. His dad was on the other side of the radio. He and nurses Susan Beck and Kimberly Koranas ran to the prisoner. Beck gave three shots of a drug that reverses the effect of heroin. The father and son were doing CPR.
"Our adrenaline was really pumping during the whole experience," says Kimberly Koranas, Groveland RN.
After ten minutes of barely breathing, the inmate got a pulse.
The Groveland superintendent says even though they deal with prisoners, they treat them like human beings.
"That's why they were willing to save someone's life," says Superintendent Shawn Cronin, "because it's not a question of 'it's an inmate.' It's another human being."
"I like working with my son," says Kenneth Poddany. "I actually started at Groveland the year he was born."
"When I was a kid, I used to watch my dad go to work and come home eight hours later," says Brandon Poddany. "I never thought I would be going to work — especially in a prison environment — with my dad. So to be able to share in saving someone's life is a really great feeling."
Cronin said how the prisoner obtained the heroin is still being investigated.
Drugs in prison is an issue the staff face "every day," Cronin said. He said drugs typically come in through visitors.
News 10NBC's Buffalo affiliate WGRZ reports the number of drug cases inside New York state prisons from 2012 to 2015 increased by 139 percent. The report shows there are dozens of contraband discoveries at the Groveland prison every year, but the number is trending down.