Two inmates save the life of ill deputy

(NBC) - Two jail inmates who gave first aid to a stricken Oregon sheriff's deputy were being credited with help saving his life.

The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office said deputy Preston Dutson, 53, and an inmate work crew were helping a stranded motorist in the Portland area when the deputy collapsed and needed medical assistance Friday afternoon.

Inmates James Parker and Michael Smith began cardiopulmonary resuscitation with assistance from a 911 dispatcher and a doctor who stopped to assist until emergency crews arrived.

Officials said quick-thinking and immediate action by the inmates helped save his life.

Monday, Dutson's family held a press conference to say "thank you."

"We're really proud. It was such a difficult situation, and for it to come out this way, we are very thankful," said John Harlan.

Dutson's family did not elaborate on his condition or explain what exactly caused him to collapse, but hospital officials said he had been upgraded from critical condition to serious on Monday.

Dutson has been with the sheriff's office for 25 years.

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