Off-duty Rancho Santa Fe fire captain provides CPR, saves a life


One of Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District’s (RSFFPD) firefighters helped save a life while off duty. On Aug. 4, Captain Greg Rainville and his wife, Monica, were driving on Park Blvd. near the San Diego Zoo when they saw a commotion just off the road, realized a person was down, and stopped to help. Someone had just called 9-1-1, yet none of the bystanders had started CPR. Rainville quickly assessed the situation and, recognizing the person was pulseless and not breathing, began chest compressions. He continued hands-only CPR until San Diego firefighters arrived on the scene, by which time the man had a pulse and was starting to breathe on his own.

“I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and was glad to be of assistance,” Rainville said. “Since none of the bystanders at the scene knew CPR, I encourage others to learn these simple, life-saving skills so they can quickly render aid should they find themselves in a similar situation.”

“When sudden cardiac arrest happens, every second counts,” said Mary Murphy, emergency services coordinator for RSFFPD and other neighboring agencies. “The sooner someone can begin chest compressions, the better the patient’s chances of survival. This is why we strongly encourage everyone to learn hands-only CPR and download the PulsePoint app.”

The PulsePoint app alerts users when someone nearby is experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. The user can provide CPR until paramedics arrive. More information on hands-only CPR and PulsePoint can be found on the RSFFPD website,