Thousand Oaks - Heroic Actions by Ventura County Sheriff's Deputy
6/20/2014 8:00:00 AM
Nature of Incident:
Heroic Actions by Ventura County Sheriff's Deputy
2000 Block of Olivewood Drive / Private Roadway North of Avenida De Las Flores, Thousand Oaks
Date & Time:
June 15, 2014
Thousand Oaks Police Department
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent
City of Residence
(V) Peter O'Neill
(P) Kristopher Doepking
Thousand Oaks Police Department/Deputy Sheriff
On June 15, 2014, shortly after 9:30 am, Peter O'Neill was driving his full size Chevrolet pickup truck through the private roadway of Olivewood Drive. It is believed O'Neill suffered a medical episode; rendering him unconscious. Immediately thereafter, O'Neill's vehicle left the main traveled portion of the roadway and drove up a sloping hillside within the condominium complex. The front of the vehicle then collided with a large tree. A witness reported the collision by calling 911 and Deputy Kristopher Doepking responded to the scene Code-3 (lights and sirens activated).
Upon Deputy Doepking's arrival, he found O'Neill unconscious and slumped over in the vehicle's passenger seat with the engine still running. Concerned with being able to care for O'Neill with the pickup truck positioned on the unsteady hillside, Deputy Doepking gained entry to the vehicle and pulled O'Neill to safety. Once O'Neill was removed from the vehicle, Deputy Doepking immediately evaluated his vital signs and determined O'Neill was unconscious, not breathing and had a very faint pulse.
Deputy Doepking performed emergency rescue breaths for O'Neill and, in doing so, discovered O'Neill had a significant airway obstruction. By repositioning O'Neill's head and jaw, Deputy Doepking eliminated the airway obstruction and O'Neill started breathing, though his breathing was quite shallow and labored. O'Neill's pulse began to improve and he started showing signs of life. Ventura County Fire and American Medical Response (AMR) personnel arrived on scene and relieved Deputy Doepking's life saving efforts. O'Neill was transported to the Los Robles Emergency Room by AMR, where he is currently in the Intensive Care Unit listed in critical condition.
Ventura County Fire and AMR personnel praised Deputy Doepking for his quick actions explaining that had he not done what he did, O'Neill may very well have died at the scene.
Some may have the perception that law enforcement officers are only summoned to investigate and deal with individuals breaking the law, or when some form of a criminal complaint exists; that is simply not the case. Every sworn/uniformed patrol deputy with the Ventura County Sheriff's Office is trained in First Aid and CPR and they receive regular update training on the subject.
Many times when patrol deputies respond to calls for service, they are unaware until they arrive on scene that the issue might be a medical emergency; which is why they are equipped with rescue breathing masks and other Fist Aid equipment. It is then that they must take quick action and revert to their training. Conversely, there are many occasions wherein sheriff's deputies are first to arrive on scene (before fire department personnel or paramedics) and they must use their medical training to render aid and potentially save a life, as is the case here.
It is equally important to point out that the quick actions of the witness immediately calling 911 after the collision helped to speed up the response time by Deputy Doepking.
Sergeant Dean Worthy #3149
Media Release Date:
Captain Don Aguilar (805) 797-7349
Captain R. Ferguson