Deputy honored for saving a life

From left: Chief Criminal Deputy Rick Felici, Coupeville Marshall Chris Garden, Lou Ann Miller, Sheriff Mark Brown, Deputy Bo Miller and Larry Vail. Miller recieved a life-saving medal Tuesday for his actions Nov. 3 when Vail had a cardiac incident while on a ladder and fell. Photo provided

Recently departed Coupeville deputy Bo Miller was honored Tuesday evening for actions he took in November that saved the life of a member of the downtown business community.

Island County Sheriff Mark Brown presented Miller with a life-saving medal before the Coupeville Town Council and an audience, including the man he saved, Larry Vail.

“It gives me chills to make this presentation because I think all of us in the profession of law enforcement hope this outcome could happen to each of us,” Brown said. “It’s the special moment that you know you’re accomplishing something.”

On Nov. 3, 2016, a 911 call was received through dispatch that Vail had fallen and sustained a head injury at his Front Street business.

Miller arrived on scene within one minute of the call and found Vail unconscious, Brown said. He immediately began CPR and used a defibrillator to administer a shock treatment before continuing CPR until the fire department arrived.

“His actions not only saved a human life, but bolstered community trust,” Brown said.

Vail and his family came to thank and honor Miller for his actions.

“Me and my family will be eternally grateful,” Vail said. “It was amazing — all the first responders were great.”

“My son tried to catch me, that was brave. Bo was there within a minute, the fire guys within three minutes. The hospital said it was textbook. Eleven days in the ICU and here I am.”

Because of what happened downtown, the community has decided it wants to train its employees in CPR and to have IED defibrillators accessible downtown, Vail said.

“It created a call to action,” he said.

Miller served as a deputy for the Coupeville Marshal’s Office for two years. This month he transferred to another unit within the sheriff’s office.

“You never know what’s going to happen on any given day,” Miller said, “and it just happened that I had driven past that store moments before this happened.”

He had turned himself around and assessed the situation.

“From there training takes over,” Miller said. “I was really happy to see the fire guys show up.”

“It’s humbling to know I had a part in doing something like that.”