By Don Chaddock, Inside CDCR editor
Office of Public and Employee Communications

Correctional Officer Chris Peterson.

An off-duty correctional officer was enjoying a warm summer day on the river when he ended up trying to save another man’s life.

Folsom State Prison Officer Chris Peterson was boating on the San Joaquin River on June 12 when he came upon a man struggling in the water.

After ensuring the safety of his own family first, Officer Peterson then dove into the cold water to assist John Tran, a U.S. Postal Service employee and military veteran.

Tran was suffering a “cardiac event.” Officer Peterson pulled him from the water and got him to the river’s shore.

Performing an assessment of Tran’s vital signs, Officer Peterson “determined a medical response was needed and had Mr. Tran’s brother call 911,” according to a report of the incident.

Officer Peterson then performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for approximately 20 minutes without fail until the arrival of San Joaquin County Sheriff’s deputies and local fire department personnel.

Despite the officer’s efforts, Tran passed away at a local hospital. Officer Peterson then recovered Tran’s raft and belongings from the river and turned them over to Tran’s family.

“The quick actions of Officer Peterson to recover the unconscious Mr. Tran from a cold river with total disregard to his personal safety and performing CPR, and recovering personal items reflect great credit upon himself, CDCR and the State of California,” according to his supervisor, Sgt. Justin Hanley.