"It was about 4:15 or 4:30 p.m.," says Liz Hefferon. "I was picking my husband up after he completed a game of golf, and we went into the clubhouse for a drink – that's when it happened."
A moment that changed some lives, a moment that saved another's life.
According to Golf Course employee Ian Nelson, he was working the desk when someone opened the door and yelled, "Call 911, we have someone down on the 18th hole!"
Ian immediately called 911 and gave them the location, had someone watch the desk and headed out to see how he could help.
Ian says what he witnessed was amazing. "They were doing CPR, then they did the defibrillator. The guy was blue, lifeless, and then suddenly he took a gasp of air. They saved his life."
A mix of the right people at the right place, at the right time, with knowledge of resources around them, saved the life of golfer Dave Roscoe on Monday, April 30.
The heroes were three retired firefighters and one former employee and his wife sitting at the bar, getting a refresher after their game of golf. Jim Brown, retired captain/paramedic from Ontario Fire Department, looked out the window and saw a man performing CPR on another man on the 18th hole. Witnesses say he yelled out that a man was down on the green and to call 911 as he headed out the door. Bill Trembly, retired captain for Santa Barbara City Fire, along with Jerry Hefferon, jumped off their seats to head out with him.
"Grab the defibrillator guys, its behind the register," yelled Jerry's wife Liz. The men grabbed the AED (automatic external defibrillator) and ran down the grass. The bartender called 911. The third firefighter, Bill Iverson, a retired Orange County firefighter, headed out to meet the Riverside County firefighters to help direct them in.
According to Bill Trembly, when he got to the area where Dave Roscoe was, Jim Brown had taken over the CPR from Dave's friend, Mark Bora, who had been doing CPR for a few minutes already. Since he wasn't confident the AED machine was the same as what he was used to, Bill took over CPR and handed the machine to Jim. Jim began the defibrillation, administering the controlled electric shock in order to allow restoration of the normal rhythm of the heart.
"It saved his life," Bill says. "He didn't have a pulse, he wasn't breathing, I don't think he would have made it without the AED."
Asked the question, "Now that you have seen it work, do you think the AED was easy to use?" Bill responded, "Definitely, it told us everything to do step by step." He acknowledge that Jim, being a paramedic, knew what to do anyway, but Bill is confident anyone could use the machine.
By the time Fire Engine 94 arrived, Dave was awake and asking questions. Jim gave a quick report to the crew and the guys returned to the clubhouse.
Witness Terry O'Rouke sent a Letter to the Editor to acknowledge the heroes and Travis Montgomery made a call to the paper to share the miraculous story.
Jim Brown's wife, Gerri, said, "He was just so calm about it, it's what he does." She told The Friday Flyer he had just left town and was unable to do an interview, but she agreed the men were heroes and that "firefighters are just amazing."
Liz Hefferon was asked how she knew the machine was there. "When my husband worked there, they were all trained on it, we were all made aware where it was, and how easy it is to use! I was happy I remembered."
Dave's friend Mark stopped by the Pro Shop to update the staff on the condition of his friend. When asked how he was doing, he responded "He's alive!" Mark shared that his friend is in ICU and is being treated for an irregular heartbeat, but is in good hands.
The importance of AEDs have been the topic in communities, school settings, recreational parks and business offices for years. Medical personnel continuously advocate for everyone to invest in taking a CPR class in which training on AEDs is included.
Canyon Lake residents should be aware that, within the community, the POA has purchased a total of six AED stations. The machines are located at the Country Club, Lodge, POA office, Campground, Senior Center and the Pool. City Manager Lori Moss announced that the City will be purchasing two more to be placed in the Special Enforcement vehicles and on Marine Patrol boats during the summer months.
Residents are encouraged to take note when entering the above facilities to see where the device is located. Emergency Preparedness Committee President Nancy Carroll has scheduled a CPR/First Aid Class for June 1, and is hoping to provide both a daytime class and evening class.