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Protective Services officers were recently honored for saving lives on three separate occasions earlier this year. From left are Dannie Blue, William Coady, Christopher Lyons, Philip Pilletere, Walter Guess and Joseph Jackson.

Quick thinking and an instinct to help others guide officers’ heroic actions 

This past spring and summer, six Protective Services officers showed that not everyone who saves lives at the hospital wears scrubs.

On three separate occasions, Dannie Blue, William Coady, Walter “Tony” Guess, Joseph Jackson, Christopher Lyons and Philip Pilletere prevented people from jumping from the Air Rights Garage. 
They were honored for their actions at an Oct. 12 ceremony attended by colleagues and (virtually) family and friends. Michael Holmes, YNHH executive vice president and chief operating officer, Dean Caruso, executive director, Support Services and Sustainability and Nick Proto, director, Protective Services and Parking, presented  trophies to the officers and shared their stories:

On May 31, senior Protective Services patrol officers Pilletere and Lyons responded to a report of a man acting oddly in the garage. They detained the man, and were awaiting New Haven police when the man suddenly put his hands on a ledge, lifted his legs and threatened to jump. The officers immediately took hold of the man’s arm and pulled him off the ledge. The man was subsequently taken to the Emergency Department. Both former police officers, Pilletere and Lyons said their training and experience in similar situations helped them react quickly.

On June 22, a Laboratory employee called Protective Services to report someone possibly attempting to jump from the garage’s 10th level. Blue and Guess, senior Protective Services patrol officers, and Coady, Central Communications officer, arrived to see the man straddling the wall. While Guess and Coady got the man’s attention, Blue circled around and pulled the man off the wall. The man was also taken to the ED for treatment. “It’s about being in the right place at the right time,” Blue said.

Jackson, senior Protective Services patrol officer, got some help from a patient’s daughter on July 17. The daughter told a nurse about a man acting suspiciously in the garage, prompting the nurse to call 155 for Protective Services. When Jackson arrived on the garage’s 10th floor, he saw the man start running for the ledge. Jackson chased and stopped the man before he could reach the ledge and secured him until police and paramedics could arrive to transport him to the ED. “We’ve been in situations like this before,” Jackson said. “Instinct just kicks in.” The daughter later said that her late father had spent his whole life helping others, and that God must have placed her in his hospital room at that time to fulfill his mission one last time and help save a life.

Proto said the officers’ unselfish actions proved that even to people in the most desperate situations, “there are always other options when you’re met with officers and a hospital that truly care.”