SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A Nevada sheriff say a near-drowning victim at Lake Tahoe is alive thanks to the "extraordinary efforts" of two off-duty firefighters from California and a physician's assistant from Iowa who pitched in to help save his life.
Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam singled out the three "Good Samaritans" and other deputies Friday, a week after the emergency was reported on Tahoe's east shore. The trio included Erin Dohlman, a recent graduate from the Des Moines University Physician Assistant Program, and Freddy Matias, an off-duty firefighter from CalFire's Napa Valley station.
"I cannot think of a better example of our deputy’s commitment to the safety of those we serve and the importance of our partnership with the public," Balaam said in a Facebook post. "I cannot express loudly enough how much we appreciate the way Ms. Dohlman, Mr. Matias, and the other bystanders got involved so willingly, and without hesitation, went to the aid of a stranger. Deputies Pickard and Hill, along with the rest of the Marine 9 crew, medics, and lifeguards did a phenomenally professional job,
Balaam says the other unnamed firefighter was administering CPR to a San Francisco Bay Area man who was submerged and unconscious before Dohlman and Matias joined in.
He says they happened to be the right people, "with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time."
"We should all be proud and appreciative of the manner and spirit with which they all came together to save a family from losing a loved one," Balaam said.