Venice Beach Lightning Strike Survivor Reunites with Rescuers

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

On the afternoon of July 27, 2014, a bolt of lightning from an unexpected summer storm struck Venice Beach. LA County Fire Department (LACoFD) Lifeguards and Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) units sprang into action to assist numerous injured people.

The first person rescued from the ocean was 56-year-old Robert Kilroy, an off-duty seasonal LA County Lifeguard and a professional chiropractor. Dr. Kilroy was pulled by his 15-year-old daughter Emily from the water in cardiac arrest. First responders began immediate CPR on Dr. Kilroy and transported him to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood. Four days later he was discharged from the hospital after making a full recovery and has returned to work and his normal everyday activities. Tragically, one individual also in the ocean at the time succumbed to his injuries.

On Thursday, August 28, 2014 the LAFD and LACoFD officials joined medical personnel from Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center to re-unite with Dr. Kilroy, to share his story and discuss the importance of Bystander CPR and ocean safety ahead of the Labor Day holiday, at the Venice Beach Pier parking lot.

“It really underscores the need for everyone to learn CPR, learn how to use a defibrillator, because you never know,” said Dr. Marc Eckstein, medical director of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

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