On Friday, October 26, 2018, the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD) Division I held a First Responder Recognition Ceremony at Fire Station 161 in Hawthorne.
Assistant Fire Chief Scott Hale, Fire Captain Brian Jordan, Community Services Liaison Laura Walters and Nurse Educator Nancy Alvarez honored extraordinary rescue efforts by personnel from LACoFD, the Los Angeles County’s Sheriff Department, Hawthorne Police Department, McCormick Ambulance and Good Samaritans.
The recognition ceremony reunited patients with first responders and Good Samaritans from the following incidents:
Sheriff’s Deputies Melvin Castro and Omar Sanchez quickly transported an unconscious one-year-old baby girl to a local hospital on July 21, 2018. Baby Faith’s parents frantically flagged the deputies down to help them as she lay lifeless. After administering CPR, they decided to take her to the hospital instead of wait for paramedics. “I felt like we had been there too long… and every second counts,” said Deputy Castro. As Deputy Sanchez drove the squad car, Deputy Castro continued CPR until Baby Faith finally gasped for air on the way to the hospital. She has since made a full recovery.
A man in his 60s had rear-ended a car while in cardiac arrest on July 11, 2018. The driver he struck noticed he was slumped over the steering wheel. Hawthorne Police Officers Pedro Nambo and Jonathan Skovold began doing CPR until LACoFD first responders arrived and took over. They resumed CPR in the ambulance until he regained a pulse and began to move on the way to the hospital. He was discharged two days later, neurologically intact.
Ranchos Palos Verdes Savers
On Sunday, April 8, 2018, two Good Samaritans, Michael and Cooper Gallion, found an 88 year-old man wandering around Rancho Palos Verdes. He had been searching for someone to help his ill wife. Disoriented and unsure of his whereabouts, the brothers took the elderly man to Fire Station 53 where they assisted him in finding his home and wife. LACoFD personnel treated the elderly couple and transported them to a local hospital for further care.
10 Freeway Saver
On April 18, 2018, utility driver Elliot Hoffman helped a California Highway Patrol Officer subdue a combative man that was twice his size on the 10 Freeway. The officer used his Taser on the suspect, but the large man was unfazed. Hoffman pulled over to help the officer and get the suspect handcuffed.
Hermosa Beach Savers/Survivor
While participating in the Hermosa Beach Triathlon, off-duty Inglewood Police Officer Elias Alvarez noticed Steven Emery lying on the ground, unconscious and barely breathing. Alvarez and two other Good Samaritans began CPR until LACoFD lifeguards arrived and took over. Emery was taken to a local hospital where they determined he had a major artery blockage. He has made a full recovery and is now back to living his normal life.
On June 7, 2017, Helen Savard went into cardiac arrest after leaving a job interview at Terranea Café. Jasmine Saptura and another employee who worked there, ran over to help begin CPR on Savard. Firefighters arrived and were able to resuscitate her. She was transported to a local hospital where she made a full recovery. Savard is now a certified CPR instructor.