A Sacramento sheriff’s sergeant enjoying a relaxing day at the Pebble Beach Golf Links on the Monterey Peninsula jumped into action to help a caddie who experienced a medical emergency.
Sergeant Kelly Bunn, a 26-year veteran with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, was attending the second round of the PGA Tour’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on February 3 as a spectator when a caddie for amateur golfer and businessman Geoff Couch suddenly collapsed at the 11th hole.
“This just so happened to be one of those moments where you take off and have vacation to decompress from what we normally do, and then all of a sudden because of what I do, I was able to be there for somebody,” Bunn reflected in an interview with CBS Sacramento.
Bunn told the Sacramento Bee he was on a phone call when he noticed the caddie’s golf bag lying on the ground. “I thought, ‘That’s odd.’ So I end my phone call and watch as they’re trying to wake up who I then became aware is the caddie. As they’re trying to get him up, I realize that’s not going to happen. I was like, ‘OK, I should do something. I’m trained in first aid, CPR.’ And my wife goes, ‘Go.’ So I sprint across the fairway.
“I got over there. He was still face down. [I] rolled him over and took off the golf bag and listened for sounds of breath and heartbeat and there was none, and at that point, it was time to start CPR,” he continued.
Bunn administered a rescue breath and performed chest compressions for five to six minutes before a Cal Fire medic took over. The caddie was eventually placed on a stretcher and rushed to a hospital by ambulance.
The caddie, who has not been identified by the PGA Tour out of respect, is recovering in the hospital.
“That’s for the family, when they choose to give out that information, to do,” Bunn said. Bunn’s wife reached out to Couch after the incident to contact the caddie and his family for updates on his condition. He added that the family was “extremely appreciative.”
“Knowing that what I did allowed him to have a chance to have a full recovery if that’s what happens, and for the family not to have gotten a phone call of what could have happened, that’s what made me feel really good,” Bunn explained.
Amazingly, it was the first time Bunn ever had to give someone CPR, on or off duty. He had received his last recertification training a year ago.
“It’s just one of those serendipitous moments — had I not taken the phone call and slowed down my pace walking, I might not have been at that place at that time,” he marveled.
Bunn, who is an avid golfer himself, said he has attended the event four or five times in the past.
He hopes the incident will encourage more people to get trained in CPR and first aid. “Yes, call 9-1-1. But between the time that they arrive, you’re already starting to do something to give that person better odds to survive. And don’t be afraid to go and help someone,” Bunn stated.