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Polk County Sheriff Johnny Moats said that the inmates’ sentences would be cut short by 25% - Representational image Reuters

Six prisoners of a Georgia jail in the US are to be awarded shorter sentences for saving the life of a prison guard. Polk County Sheriff Johnny Moats said the sentences of the six inmates would be cut short by 25%.

"Anytime we have a trustee or inmate crew that goes beyond normal duties, we cut them some extra time off", he said.

All six were in jail for minor crimes, the BBC reported.

The incident reportedly happened on 12 June when the officer was guarding the inmates at a public cemetery, where they were cutting grass. Humidity was at 100% and the temperature had touched 76F (24C) that morning.

The officer on guard duty suddenly collapsed in the heat. Without wasting a single minute, the six prisoners ran towards him and removed his bullet-proof vest to perform CPR. One of them also used the guard's phone to call 911.

"When that happened, in my opinion, it wasn't about who is in jail and who wasn't. It was about a man going down and we had to help him," inmate Greg Williams told

The officer whose life was saved also appreciated the gesture of those he was guarding. "None of my guys ran. None of them did anything they shouldn't have done."

Sheriff Moats also credited the officer, who did not want to be identified, for the inmates' generous behaviour.

"They really stepped up in a time of crisis and show that they care about my officers.

"It really speaks a lot about my officers too, how they treat these inmates. They treat them like people. Like family."

The prisoners who turned rescuers were later treated by the officer's family to food and desserts.

The incident follows on the heels of two convicts from another prison in Georgia murdering two guards while being transported between jails.

The inmates were captured after a massive manhunt and on 21 June prosecutors said they would be seeking the death penalty for Ricky Dubose and Donnie Rowe.