By Lt. Manny Nunez, Camp Commander
Francisquito Conservation Camp #4
A correctional officer from a conservation camp ended up putting his training to use to help save a young girl’s life.
On April 29, a motorist rushed into Francisquito Conservation Camp to request help after witnessing a horrific accident near the camp. Sgt. Andy Flores called 911 to report to accident while Correctional Officer Gabriel Rodriguez responded to the scene to offer assistance.
The officer found a head-on collision between a late-model Volkswagon Beetle and a mid-sized pick-up truck. An off-duty EMT was administering CPR to an 8-year-old girl, who was a passenger in the truck, while other civilians were trying to help the male adult driver of the truck.
The driver of the VW Beetle appeared to be dead.
Officer Rodriguez asked if any one had an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) device. They did not. So the officer ran back to get one while the EMT continued administering CPR to the child.
Officer Rodriguez returned to the scene with the AED and applied the pads to the child’s torso. After powering up, the device advised administering a shock to the patient.
Officer Rodriguez delivered one shock from the AED device and the device reassessed the patient. CPR was advised, so the EMT continued his efforts. The AED did not recommend a second shock. During the cycles of CPR, the AED advised deeper chest compressions on several occasions, and the off-duty EMT adjusted his compressions accordingly, while Officer Rodriguez relayed the instructions of the AED.
Los Angeles County Fire Department paramedics arrived on scene and took over emergency medical treatment of the child and male driver.
The truck’s driver was airlifted by helicopter to a local area hospital where he was listed in critical condition. The female child was airlifted to a local hospital where she was pronounced deceased. The driver of the Volkswagen Beetle was pronounced deceased on scene by fire department paramedics.
Officer Rodriguez reported his actions to the California Highway Patrol’s Investigating Officer, Officer Gallion, of the Newhall CHP Office. The correctional officer subsequently reported back to the camp to resume his duties.
Officer Rodriguez displayed the utmost professionalism and composure during this tragic incident and throughout the remainder of his shift. His actions in the community that day reflected the utmost professionalism, compassion, and dedication to duty that our Department and the public expects from its first responders, according to camp officials.