L.A. Marathon Claims Lives of Retired Deputy and Off Duty LAPD Officer

Sunday, March 19, 2006 |

On Saturday, March 19, 2006 beginning at 4:42 AM, twenty-one Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, twenty-four LAFD Rescue Ambulances, six Bicycle Paramedic teams, three "Gator" teams (6 wheel ATV's with 2 Paramedics), one Arson Unit, two Hazardous Materials Teams, eleven EMS Battalion Captains, four Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, the LAFD Medical Advisor, one Division Chief Officer Command Team, and a variety of addition support staff, all under the direction of Assistant Chief Michael Fulmis were pre-deployed along the Los Angeles Marathon route.

The Los Angeles Fire Department, in conjunction with other City agencies, volunteers, and event organizers spent a significant amount of time preplanning the various aspects of the 21st Annual Los Angeles Marathon. A Unified Command with LAPD and LAFD command staff was implemented and strategically positioned at the City's "Piper Tech" facility. A Forward Command Post was placed at the Bonaventure Hotel to assist in overall management of the incident. Under the Forward Command post, Divisions, Branches, and Groups were established to handle various aspects of the incident.

In an effort to provide rapid Paramedic intervention during a medical emergency, the LAFD deployed six Bicycle Paramedic Teams and three "Gator" Teams. The "Gator" Teams consisted of two Paramedics operating a six-wheeled All Terrain Vehicle. The "Gator" was outfitted with Advanced Life Support tools, a stretcher, and other necessary equipment. The size and configuration of the Bicycle Paramedic Teams, and the "Gator" teams provided paramedics the opportunity to navigate crowds, circumvent traffic, and deliver critical patient care faster.

Throughout the day and all along the twenty-six mile route, seventy-five patients were treated by Fire Department personnel for various medical problems including, heat and exhaustion complaints, musculoskeletal injuries, and other medical problems. Of the seventy-five patients treated, thirty were transported to local hospitals for further medical evaluation. Unfortunately, three runners did suffer a sudden cardiac arrest during the run. Regretfully, two of the runners did loose their lives during this event.

At 8:30 AM, at mile marker one, 15th Street and Figueroa Street, a 70 year-old male runner suffered a full cardiac arrest. Fortunately, personnel from the Los Angeles Convention center were able to immediately utilize a Public AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) on the patient, delivering one shock to the patients heart. Paramedics arrived immediately, continued CPR, provided Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and transported to California Medical Center. The patient was subsequently admitted to the hospital and is listed in critical condition.

At 9:00 AM, at approximately mile marker one, Exposition Boulevard and Figueroa Street, a 60 year-old male runner and retired Los Angeles County Sheriff Deputy, suffered a full cardiac arrest. Paramedics immediately began CPR and provided immediate Advance Cardiac Life Support. The patient was transported to California Medical Center where the patient was pronounced dead by hospital personnel.

At 1:30 P.M., at approximately mile marker twenty-four, Olympic Boulevard and Westmoreland Avenue, a 53 year-old male and an "active member" of the Los Angeles Police Department, suffered a full cardiac arrest. The LAFD Medical Advisor arrived first on scene and immediately began administering advanced airway support and directed on scene medical procedures.

Firefighters and Paramedics, pre-deployed along the Marathon route, provided immediate Advanced Cardiac Life Support and rapid transport to Good Samaritan Hospital. Unfortunately, the Paramedics and Hospital staff were unable to revive the Officer and he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Submitted By Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department


Anonymous said...

As some one who assisted in the resusitation attempt at the 24th mile, I have to state that the response time of the LAFD was about 15 min. CPR was well underway at that point, however more specific interventions were limited by the lack of equipment. While I commend the LAFD for their great job during the marathon, there is definite room for improvement.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Thanks for making us aware of your firsthand observation and concern.

Due to the gravity of your message, we'd like you to immediately contact the Commanding Officer of the LAFD Bureau of Emergency Services, Emergency Medical Services Division.

You can reach Assistant Chief Greg West directly at (213)978-3882, or ask to be connected to his office number through 3-1-1.

If you prefer to offer correspondence:

Assistant Chief Greg West
Los Angeles Fire Department
Bureau of Emergency Services
Emergency Medical Services Division
200 North Main Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012 USA

As confident as I am regarding our efforts at Marathon XXI, I am equally convinced there is perpetual room for improvement in attending to the hundreds of relatively 'minor' incidents and the scores of critical emergency responses that occur over the 26 mile route in a short period of time.

Your formal statement to Chief West will help guide our efforts so that any actual or perceived shortcomings can be promptly addressed.

For those lurking, please know that whenever you have a concern regarding LAFD services, a prompt call to 3-1-1 can help us resolve the matter or address it forthwith.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Ms. Lambard said...


I thoroughly enjoy the blog and am so pleased to see a major FD with its own blog. Communicating with all members of your community is not only vital to maintaining relationships, but the blog allows you a forum in which to showcase your department to everyone around the world.
In writing to a group of teachers about the growing use of technology in firefighting, I added your blog as a link within my post--hope you don't mind!
Keep up the fantastic work!

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...


Thank you for your kind words, they mean more than you know.

Thanks also for holding high the torch of education, which properly enlightens all.

I found your blog to be a fantastic resource - and I've already taken the opportunity to tell the teachers in our family about it.

Please know that the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department always welcome an opportunity to be a part of your curriculum.

Whether through our in-classroom participation in a popular annual event, or offering some aspect of our emergency endeavors - such as the Los Angeles Marathon, as a classroom problem-solving example, the Los Angeles Fire Department is proud of its long-standing partnership with community educators.

One of our most interesting on-line assets is our popular LAFD Link Page, which provides a portal to countless on-line Fire Service resources easily utilized in classrooom settings.

Like you, we find the instant publishing and interactivity of blogs to be most promising, but not without their challenges.

We remain profoundly grateful for the support we have received from the blogging community, and especially our blog visitors; who are unbelievably patient and kind.

Even when I forget (first and foremost) to do something as proper and basic as thanking the person above for coming to the aid of a fellow citizen in distress during the Marathon. That should have been my opening remark...

I guess it goes to show that we are all students with plenty of things to learn and share in this journey we call life.

With best wishes to you, your colleagues and your students,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Alan said...

My wife was one of the people assisted by your depertment during the Marathon yesterday. She was, we think, around the 14 mile stage when she succumbed to the heat and was transported to County USC. Is there some way to figure out which unit helped her as we'd like the opportunity to thank the individuals personally, if at all possible.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...


We hope your wife is recovering from her heat-related illness, and that you were both pleased with the care offered by the men and women of the LAFD, as well as many volunteers who assisted us.

Though we are still tabulating data from the field at LAFD Headquarters for Marathon XXII (2007), we should be able to soon help you in your quest.

Of course, marathon participants and spectators were tabulated above and beyond the 500+ transports we already handle on a given day, but the incidents handled on Sunday should soon be in the system.

So how can you access the system?

The City of Los Angeles ambulance billing system can likely provide you with information *by name* within the next few days. Their clerical staff can be reached during normal business hours at (213) 482-7200, they do get swamped with paperwork though, and they might be a ways behind.

If you happen to have the Runner's Bib Number used by your wife during Marathon XXII, you might instead or also be able to obtain the identity of LAFD responders through our EMS Division staff, who tracked the more than one hundred participants aided by that number during the event. You can reach the LAFD EMS Division directly during normal business hours at (213) 978-3885.

Alan, I hope this information helps. Please allow me to again extend our best wishes to your wife.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. I'll give them a call tomorrow. We are very happy with the service provided and by the wonderful people at County, who were absolutely amazing!!

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