Showing that not all heroes wear capes, the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District took the time to honor two citizen heroes at their regular board meeting last Wednesday, whose quick thinking and decisive actions helped save a Danville resident during a medical emergency over the summer.
San Ramon’s Club Sport Fitness Center employees Kevin Smith and Jessica Terrill were honored with “Life Saving Awards” for giving medical aid and support to Danville resident Hamed Farhadi when he experienced cardiac arrest in the gym, buying medical teams enough time to arrive on-scene and provide aid to the man.
“Their decision to act, and to act quickly, bridged the gap between time of cardiac arrest and the arrival of fire district first responders,” SRVFPD Fire Chief Paige Meyer wrote in a statement. “Neither of these Club Sport employees possessed any formal emergency medical training, but they both remained calm, and acted decisively in an almost choreographed effort to save Mr. Farhadi’s life.”
Smith and Terrill were not the only heroes honored at the meeting. Chief Meyer also presented Life Saving Awards to the fire district’s first responders who aided Farhadi. Captain John Archuleta, Captain Erik Falkenstrom, engineer Kevin Rawitzer, engineer Joseph Varin, firefighter Jason Alaga, firefighter Joseph Corbett, dispatch supervisor Tricia Klink, and dispatcher Stephen Rodwell were all honored for their efforts to save the man.
On July 11, while exercising at Club Sports, Farhadi experienced cardiac arrest, rendering him pulseless and unable to breathe. Terrill found him unresponsive and alerted Smith, who began CPR while she called for emergency responders via 9-1-1.
Over the phone, dispatch supervisor Klink supported the pair by helping walk them through the appropriate procedures, while her partner Rodwell was able to dispatch the nearest fire engine and ambulance, which departed within 45 seconds.
In the meantime, Terrill and Smith retrieved an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) that Club Sport maintains on-site and proceeded to use the device on a motionless Farhadi. Chief Meyer said this action sent a life-saving electric shock into Farhadi’s lifeless body.
Within three minutes of being dispatched, six firefighters -- all of whom are state-licensed paramedics -- arrived on-site. They applied to Farhadi a mechanical CPR device, which delivers uninterrupted cardiac compression in uniform rhythm and depth.
First responders acted fast, and were able to deliver him to the emergency room at San Ramon Regional Medical Center in an elapsed time of 16 minutes and 42 seconds from the time of their arrival on-scene.
Farhadi was released from SRRMC within days and returned home to his wife of 28 years, Lamia Farhadi, and the couple’s three children. He has since returned to work in the banking industry at Bishop Ranch and is a strong advocate for having everyone attend a a CPR/AED course, according to Meyer.
The SRVFPD offers CPR and AED training courses online, combined with hands-on skills practice session and skills tests. Residents who successfully complete the course will receive an AHA Heartsaver CPR/AED course completion card, valid for two years.
The eLearning online course fee is $40. Residents can register and pay at the SRVFPD administration office, located at 1500 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon.