June 21, 2014 (Alpine) -- Alpine Fire Department held a ceremony on June 17th to honor residents who saved the life of Scott Holland. Holland was working at a construction project on Kevin Court in Alpine on October 9, 2013 when he suddenly collapsed from a severe cardiac event.
Michelle Ditomaso, the homeowner, sprang into action and initiated CPR, while another construction worker dialed 911. Ditomaso continued CPR for approximately 9 minutes before she was relieved by Isaiah Andrus, an audio installer who was also working at the site of the new home under construction. Ditomaso stayed by the victim’s side while giving CPR instructions to Andrus. Soon after, the Alpine Fire Department paramedic/firefighters and the Viejas Fire Department ambulance arrived and crews were able to defibrillate Holland—transporting him him to the hospital with a heartbeat.
Holland experienced a full recovery and was in attendance at the ceremony—along with the . firefighters and ambulance crew who helped save his life.
Dr. Brad Schwartz, Medical Director for AMR and the Regional Cooperative Care Program, spoke of the benefits of bystander CPR prior to arrival of Advanced Life Support. Without the quick and sustained actions of Mrs. Ditomaso and Mr. Andrus, Scott Holland would have had a very low chance of survival. The early actions of these local heroes, followed up by Alpine Fire department’s advanced life support and rapid transport to the hospital made the difference in this life or death situation.
Alpine Fire Chief Bill Paskle and Alpine Fire Board President Patrick Price handed awards for outstanding community service to everyone involved, including the Heartland Fire Dispatcher that assisted with emergency CPR instructions over the phone.
Maureen O’Connor from Project Heartbeat, a nonprofit that provides automatic defibrillators for public facilities, was also at the event.
Alpine Fire Department provides free hands only CPR training each year at their annual sidewalk CPR event in early June. For more information on learning CPR, log onto: http://sdprojectheartbeat.com/