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Speedy Response by Sheriff’s Office Saves Local Man’s Life

OAKHURST — A swift, skilled response by a deputy and corporal from the Madera County Sheriff’s Office saved the life of a local diner Wednesday night.

Around 7 p.m. last night, Madera County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to an Oakhurst restaurant to assist a male subject complaining of chest pain.

Corporal Chris Williams

MCSO Corporal Chris Williams and Deputy Ryan Vermeulen responded to the call.

Corporal Williams arrived and found a good Samaritan performing CPR on a local citizen. Corporal Williams is a trained EMT, carries an AED (automated external defibrillator) and a first responder bag with specialized equipment.

Corporal Williams applied the AED to the patient and with the assistance of the good Samaritan, performed CPR and rescue breathing.

Deputy Vermeulen, who has 10 years experience as an EMT, arrived a short time later to assist.

The AED ultimately delivered three shocks to the patient prior to Sierra Ambulance and Madera County Fire’s arrival. The male patient regained a pulse and began breathing on his own.

The patient was transported to a Fresno area hospital for further treatment.

Sheriff Jay Varney started a program with board of supervisors’ support in 2018 to train and incentivize deputies to become Certified EMT’s.

Additionally, MCSO worked with County Administration and the Central Garage to equip all of its vehicles with AED’s. The department then partnered with Madera County Public Health to issue NARCAN to the deputies.

To date, approximately 10 percent of sworn staff have passed the extremely difficult National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians certification test. This is in addition to those who were already EMT’s prior to being hired.

Corporal Williams was one of the first three deputies to pass the class and certify.

“This program directly benefits the citizens of Madera County. Last night is just one of several examples of when the deputies are in a position to render aid and are able to utilize this valuable training to help someone in need,” said Sheriff Varney.

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