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Medium Moran Facility
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Jay Johansen, a Correctional Officer at the Medium Moran Facility, was on his day off.
He had just dropped off a friend who lived off Pontiac Avenue in the Oaklawn section of Cranston. As he left his friends house and started home, he encountered what he first thought was heavy fog. As he drove through it, he realized it was smoke coming from a home at 168 Richard Street. It was about 1:30 a.m. in the morning. As he quickly surveyed the situation, he observed flames coming from the first floor of the three-story home. Jay stopped his car in front of the home and got out. He was “taken back” by the fact that there seemed to be no one around. He then heard someone yelling. He immediately called 911 on his cell phone and started up the driveway where he encountered a woman and a small child. They were shaken and afraid to move because of the flames shooting from the burning house. Jay reassured them and escorted them to safety out in the street. It was at this point that the woman told Officer Johansen that there were people living on all three floors of the home. Jay gave the woman his jacket and knowing there were more residents still in the home, he made his way to the rear of the home. Just as he started in the back door a couple exited. Jay was able to ascertain from them that they resided on the second floor. They got safely in to the back yard. At this point Jay could still hear yelling, so he proceeded through the back door and began to crawl up the stairs. He said the smoke was heavy but he did not encounter any fire. He made his way to the second floor landing where the smoke was extremely heavy. Visibility was zero but Jay could hear a woman’s voice calling out for help. He called out to her and encouraged her to come down the stairs. She was reluctant because of the heavy smoke and her difficulty in breathing. Jay cautioned her not to go toward the front of the house where the fire was more prominent and instructed her to stay low. He kept inching up the stairway through the smoke and finally saw a shadow. He reached out and was able to grab the woman. He told her to put her arms around his neck and hang on. Jay then guided the woman out of the house to safety. Cranston Fire had just arrived as Jay and the woman exited. All five occupants and Officer Johansen were transported to Rhode Island Hospital via Cranston Rescue. They were later released after being treated for smoke inhalation. During an interview with channel 10 News, Jay said “I don’t know if I saved their lives, I just tried to help out.” “I guess I was just in the right place at the right time.” “To see a real fire that close up was very scary.” “I hope someone else would do the same thing, after all, it could be my house.” During the same interview, Jay said he kept thinking about the four-year-old boy. Tricia and Giovanni Paloitti were the mother and child that Jay first encountered after getting out of his car. A father himself, Jay said, “I felt sad for Giovanni.” As this article was being written, arrangements were being made to reunite Jay and Giovanni so that Jay could give him some Christmas presents that were left over from the RIBCO Children’s Christmas Party. As this article was being written, arrangements were being made to reunite Jay and Giovanni so that Jay could give him some Christmas presents that were left over from the RIBCO Children’s Christmas Party. According to Richard Ferruccio, RIBCO President, “We should have eight or ten nice presents for Jay to give Giovanni. ”Correctional Officer Jay Johansen works at the Medium Moran Facility on the 3-11 shift. Jay started his career at the Department of Corrections in October of 2004. His actions during the early morning events of January 4, 2006 make him a “real life hero.” Jay is a shinning example of the men and women who work “Rhode Island’s Toughest Beat.”
C. O. Jay Johansen To Recieve CUSA Life Saving Award In Washington, D.C.RIBCOC. O. Jay Johansen To Recieve CUSA Life Saving Award In Washington, D.C. Rhode Island Correctional Officer Jay Johansen was selected as a Valor Award winner by Corrections USA.Officer Johansen will be presented with a Meritorious Service - Life Saving Award during National Correctional Officers Week in Washington D.C. National Correctional Officers Week will be celebrated during the week of May 7th through May 13th.Officer Johansen is being honored for his heroics during the early morning hours of January 4, 2006 when he escorted several people from a burning home in Cranston, Rhode Island.Officer Johansen put himself in harms way when he virtually carried a disorientated woman down a smoke filled stairway to safety.Jay will recieve his award on May 16, 2006 at the Doubletree Inn at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia.By risking his own life to help others in a time of extreme danger, Jay has established himself as a "real life hero."On behalf of the RIBCO Executive Board and everyone in the Rhode Island Department of Corrections - Congratulations!