Vernon Officers Honored for Saving Man

By Nancy Martinez, EGP Staff Writer

Two Vernon police officers were honored this week as heroes for saving the life of a Walnut man who suffered a heart attack while driving to the hospital.

Officer Chrisitan Moscoso, right, and Officer Edward Hernandez, left, pose with their life-saving award plaques and Vernon Police Chief Daniel Calleros after the March 19 city council meeting where they were honored.(EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

In the early hours of Nov. 7, 2012, Vernon police received a 9-1-1 call from a hysterical young woman who was on Soto Street near Fruitland Avenue. Although the dispatcher was not able to get a lot of information about the nature of the call from the frantic 18-year-old, Officer Christian Moscoso arrived on scene within two minutes of the call received around 1:45 a.m.

Upon arriving, Moscoso discovered that the young woman’s father, Frank Cervantes, 65, had suffered a massive heart attack while driving himself to the hospital. According to the report, Cervantes was unconscious and had no pulse when Moscoso removed him from the vehicle and laid him on the road to perform life-saving measures. The officer was using an automated external defibrillator (AED), a devise used to treat cardiac arrest with electric shocks through the chest on to the heart, when Officer Edward Hernandez arrived  on the scene to help.

“At one point all hope was lost given the lifeless condition of the man,” said Vernon Police Chief Daniel Calleros at the March 19 City Council meeting where Moscoso and Hernandez were honored in front of their families, fellow police officers and city officials.

On the night of the incident, Moscoso performed mouth-to-mouth on the victim while Hernandez applied chest compressions until Vernon Fire Dept. paramedics arrived to takeover treatment of the heart-attack victim who eventually regained a pulse and began breathing on his own.

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Morosco and Hernandez, who were presented with a plaque from the Vernon City Council commemorating their life-saving efforts, said they performed as trained.

“That’s our job, we act on it without thinking too much into it,” Hernandez told EGP. “We’ve been trained for these types of situations.”

Moscoso, who it so happens trained Hernandez in CPR, told EGP he strongly encourages everyone to get basic CRP training.

“In our case, we were able to help out Mr. Cervantes,” Moscoso said.

Vernon’s police chief told the council that according to American Red Cross statistics, about 94% of people who suffer sudden cardiac arrest die before they reach a hospital.

“As you know, medical incidences of this nature typically do not have positive outcomes,” Calleros said. “But this particular incident resulted in a complete recovery of the individual.”

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March 21, 2013  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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