A Santa Ynez man who suffered a cardiac arrest last month recently paid a visit to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office substation in Solvang to thank two deputies who helped save his life.
Gino Filippin, 55, and his family stopped by the station Aug. 30 to thank Senior Deputy James Kurowski and Deputy Bradley Adams, who later visited with Filippin at his house.
Filippin has made a full recovery from the massive heart attack he suffered Aug. 24 and said he is grateful to the first responders who helped save his life.
“At no time during this experience did I feel like I was going to die,” Filippin said. “My Father in Heaven got all of the right people together at the right time to be there.”
The father of four boys, Filippin returned to his home on Willow Street about 7:50 p.m. from exercising and experienced what he said felt like severe heartburn.
He went out into the backyard to get some fresh air but felt increasingly dizzy and weak, ultimately collapsing from a heart attack.
His oldest son, who was home at the time, saw him lying on the ground in the yard, and Filippin’s wife called 911.
With help from the sheriff’s emergency communications dispatcher, she began CPR compressions.
When Kurowski and Adams arrived, they were directed by the family to the backyard, where they found Filippin lying on the ground not breathing, his complexion bluish.
The deputies used an automated external defibrillator from a patrol car to administer an electrical shock to Filippin’s heart, then began chest compressions.
Filippin began breathing again, and the two deputies continued life-saving efforts until Santa Barbara County Fire Department paramedics arrived and took over.
Filippin was subsequently transported by American Medical Response to a local hospital for treatment.
A Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman noted deputies are trained to perform basic life-saving measures as first responders, and their patrol vehicles are equipped with AEDs for such medical emergencies.