Capitola patrol officer Brantly Sandretti saved two lives last summer

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Brantly Sandretti saved two people using his CPR training last summer while working for the Capitola Police Department. (Dan Coryo — Santa Cruz Sentinel)

By Jondi Gumz, Santa Cruz Sentinel

CAPITOLA >> At 24, Brantly Sandretti landed his dream job last week, being sworn in as a patrol officer with the Capitola Police Department.

Working in a temporary position last summer, Sandretti performed CPR twice in two weeks, saving two lives, according to Police Chief Rudy Escalante.

As the chief tells the story, when a 60-year-old man was found unconscious and without a pulse Sept. 1 on Clares Street near Bed Bath & Beyond, Sandretti started CPR until he was relieved by paramedics. An automated external defibrillator was applied to the man’s chest and after 20 minutes, the man was stabilized and taken to Dominican Hospital.

A week earlier on Clares Street, Sandretti administered CPR for a man who was not breathing, a possible heroin overdosed. Firefighters told the chief the man would have died without Sandretti’s intervention.

“We are looking to recognize him,” said Escalante. “He’s very humble.”

Sandretti said a couple of his buddies had parents working in law enforcement. From their stories he deduced this would be “a job that never gets boring.”

At Scotts Valley High School, he took an occupational class in law enforcement taught by Scotts Valley Lt. John Hohmann. At 18, he joined Capitola’s Police Explorer Program to learn more.

In 2011, he started his career as a temporary parking enforcement officer in Capitola. He then became a full-time community service officer patrolling the Village and Esplanade. In 2012, he paid his own way, $4,000, to attend the Basic Police Academy, training required for a patrol officer.

He began working as a Capitola reserve officer in June. With the department down a couple officers due to injuries and Sandretti having met all the requirements, the chief moved him into a temporary post and was pleased with the result.

“It reminds me of when I started,” said Escalante, who began his career at 23.

Sandretti, who fills a vacancy left by Sgt. Matt Eller’s retirement, was accompanied at the swearing-in by his father, family members and friends.

“He’s a master mason,” said his aunt, Cara Feyas, noting her nephew was mentored at Paradise Park, the Masonic community where his grandparents Myron and Mable Coleman live. “Part of the credo is to help people.”

Paradise Park will recognize Sandretti Sunday.

“He had a vision and worked to accomplish it,” said Escalante. “I’m really excited for him, and it’s great for the community.”

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