A Bristol County Sheriff's Deputy is being hailed as a hero after saving the life of a choking inmate.

Corrections Officer Cynthia Santos took action after she saw a female inmate exhibiting signs of choking in the dining area of the Women's Center at the House of Corrections in Dartmouth last week.

Officer Santos rushed to the inmate and began performing the Heimlich Maneuver, which she repeated about ten times before the piece of food became dislodged from the inmate's throat.

Jonathan Darling, Public Information Officer for the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office, told WBSM News that while Santos saved the inmate's life actions like that also help to improve relations between inmates and staff.

"Their safety and well-being is a top priority for us," said Darling "and it's nice to say that and we can say that all we want, but until the inmates really see it that, hey, if something happens we're trained to handle all sorts of emergency situations, we could save their life if we needed to, and in this case we did."

Darling says that since the incident took place Santos' have won praise from both her colleagues and the inmate herself.

"The inmate whose life she saved has constantly been reminding her of it and constantly saying 'thank you' and 'you know I appreciate it and I don't know what could have happened if it wasn't for you," said Darling.