Fountain Correctional officer awarded Soldier’s Medal

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Capt. Kevin J. Bishop was presented the Soldier’s Medal by Gov. Kay Ivey on July 12 for his heroic act of rescuing the William C. Holman Correctional Facility warden from imminent danger during a disturbance last March.

Bishop, who works as a staff sergeant in the Alabama National Guard, received the award for his actions on March 11, 2016, when inmates gained control of a dorm at the prison facility just outside Atmore. Additionally, Bishop’s actions helped prevent violence from spreading to other parts of the facility, according to Alabama Department of Corrections Public Information Officer Bob Horton.

“It is always a dangerous situation when violence erupts,” Bishop said in a release. “I did not hesitate to respond to the aid of another in this situation. This is not something someone plans on doing when they wake up each day. I would hope my fellow officers would take the same actions in my time of need.”

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The Soldier’s Medal is the highest non-combat award for heroism for a member of the United States Army, or reserve Component who performs a heroic act while not serving in a military duty status.

On receiving the report of the stabbing, the warden, Bishop and a corrections captain entered the dorm. While assessing the situation, a lone inmate attacked and stabbed the warden multiple times in the back and head. Bishop responded to the attack by deflecting the inmate’s follow-on attempts to stab the warden; shielding him and applying pressure to the warden’s wounds. Bishop was able to hold off the inmate and successfully lead the warden and the other officers out of the dorm to safety, according to the ADOC.

In addition, Bishop assured emergency medical services and the corrections emergency response team were mobilized in response to the incident.

Despite being injured in the attack, Bishop remained on duty and initiated measures to ensure the disturbance was contained.

Bishop added that he was prepared to handle the incident because of his military training and years of experience in corrections.

“With extraordinary courage and selflessness, Capt. Bishop safeguarded his warden and fellow officers while taking appropriate action to resolve a very dangerous situation,” said Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn.  “Captain Bishop is an exceptional leader and we are grateful for his service to the Department of Corrections.”

Bishop said he never set out in his career in the National Guard or Department of Corrections to receive awards or accolades and has always tried to serve his state and country by following Army values.

“Receiving the Soldier’s Medal is an overwhelming honor, and I accept the award on behalf of all the men and women who place themselves in harm’s way each and every day without reward or recognition,” Bishop said in a statement.

Bishop, a 1997 graduate of the Alabama Corrections Academy, rose through the ranks and received a promotion to captain in 2013. He is assigned to the G.K. Fountain Correctional Facility in Atmore where he serves as a senior corrections supervisor.

In 2004, Bishop enlisted in the Alabama Army National Guard and is trained as a combat medic and healthcare NCO with the Medical Detachment – Alabama based in Birmingham. Bishop’s military service includes multiple tours to Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Capt. Bishop is a fine example of the men and women who serve in the Department of Corrections,” Ivey said. “Capt. Bishop is a hero for both our country and our state, and I am honored to have played a role in honoring him for his efforts.”