Corrections officer receives department medal of valor
FRACKVILLE - Donald Rakus, a corrections officer who works at the State Correctional Institution at Mahanoy, has been recognized with the Department of Corrections' Medal of Valor for assisting a coworker who was suffering a heart attack.
Rakus was performing physical fitness tests for the Corrections Emergency Response Team at SCI-Mahanoy Sept. 13 when Sgt. Daniel Ozlanski collapsed after suffering an apparent heart attack. His fellow team members started calling for help.
Rakus, discovering that Ozlanski was not breathing and had no pulse, performed CPR for 15 minutes. By the time emergency medical personnel arrived, Ozlanski was breathing on his own and had a strong pulse.
"Ozlanski survived because of Rakus' life-saving efforts," said Superintendent Jack Kerestes. "As a result of his heroic efforts, Rakus was nominated for this year's DOC Medal of Valor Award. He also received the 2014 Corrections USA Medal of Valor for his efforts in saving Ozlanski's life."
An employee since April 1996, Rakus teaches various courses. He served in the U.S. Army for four years, and eight years as a medic in the Army Reserve.