A Sheriff’s Recruit Training officer with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and two recruits helped save the life of a 50-year-old recruit who stopped breathing during a training run.
Sheriff’s officials said the incident began while training officer Jesus Cabadas followed a Sheriff’s Academy class on a three-mile fitness run from the Sheriff's Academy parking lot through the unincorporated community of Whittier at 7:30 a.m., Friday.
The department provides law-enforcement services to Diamond Bar and Walnut. The recruits were in the sixth week of an 18-week training academy and physical fitness course, officials said. About a mile and a half into the run Cabadas noticed the 50-year-old man was lagging behind and appeared to struggling.
Cabadas had the recruit rest in the back seat of the patrol vehicle while he continued to follow the class, officials said.
About five minutes later, Cabadas heard the recruit’s breathing become very labored and noticed he was in a lot of physical discomfort, officials said. Cabadas immediately called two recruits who were pre-designated first aid recruits and are trained EMT’s who were training to be sheriff's deputies.
The recruit was pale, had no pulse, and was not breathing, officials said. They administered CPR until Los Angeles County Fire Department paramedics arrived with an Automatic Electric Defibrillator. The device helped get the recruit to breathe on his own and he was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, according to officials. He was reported to be in stable condition and feeling much better.
It is common practice to designate fellow recruits to promptly respond to the staff instructor’s request to assist other recruits during physical training.
“This was truly a rare occurrence and it is difficult to remember a time when a recruit experienced such a significant medical emergency," said Sheriff's Academy Captain Robert Esson. "We are very glad, and we know the family is glad too, that we were well prepared to respond swiftly and effectively to handle the recruit's medical needs, just as we so often do for the public."