By Mary O’KEEFE
Most residents in Crescenta Valley are aware of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s volunteers who work at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station. The volunteers help in a variety of ways, from handling paperwork to patrolling the community. They have saved the department thousands of dollars as they free up deputies who can continue their own work.
The volunteers are trained through the LASD and recently it was not the CV area that saw the benefits of that training but a man who suffered an apparent heart attack on the San Diego 405 Freeway.
LASD Volunteer on Patrol and Crescenta Valley Town Council Vice President Harry Leon was traveling southbound on the 405 Freeway on July 30 when he saw a traffic accident that recently occurred. The male driver of the Ford Mustang had hit the wall and spun his car blocking the right lane. By the time Leon got to him another motorist had pulled the driver out of the vehicle and had begun CPR.
Leon pulled over his car and approached the person doing CPR and introduced himself as an LASD volunteer.
“I said if you are tired I can take over the chest compressions,” Leon said.
And that is what he did. After a while a doctor stopped to help and then a nurse. They all helped to continue the compressions until California Highway Patrol and the fire department arrived.
Once again Leon introduced himself as an LASD volunteer and CHP asked him to help with traffic control.
“We shut down the freeway traffic and [the fire department] got the man on a gurney and transported him to UCLA [hospital],” Leon said.
During the compressions, the man would go in and out of consciousness, but when fire arrived and transported him he was responsive.
Leon does not yet know the fate of the man but was grateful he was able to help. He has responded to fatal traffic collisions in the past but had never been involved with this type of roadside rescue. But he said he was happy he was able to do what was needed.
“The LASD trains us well,” Leon said.