Carmel Valley volunteer’s family continues his legacy with donations to fire stations

By Karen Billing

Scott Tillson’s legacy of being a tireless volunteer for the Carmel Valley community has continued on after his death on May 19. At the Nov. 17 Carmel Valley Community Planning Board meeting, his wife Pat Tillson announced a donation in his name to Carmel Valley fire stations 24 and 47 of four automated external defibrillators (AEDs), two carbon monoxide detectors, and eight collar microphones.

Several members of Tillson’s family were in attendance along with Pat: his son Michael, his parents John and Dana, his sister Dana, brother Jay and niece Hillary. Firefighters from Station 24 were there to accept the gifts.

Pat Tillson thanked Station 24 for their response on May 5, when Scott suffered a heart attack and their son Michael found him. The Torrey Pines senior administered CPR while 911 was called.

“Firefighters got there very quickly and due to their tireless efforts they were able to transfer him to Scripps Hospital,” said Pat in a tearful, heartfelt presentation. “Although the outcome was not what we hoped for we were able to gather the family to say goodbye to Scott. We will forever be grateful for what you did. You gave us the gift of time.”

The family asked for donations in lieu of flowers and with the money collected they were able to purchase the much-needed equipment for the fire department and the AEDs. One of the AEDs will be installed at the Carmel Valley Library, where Tillson spent so much of his time volunteering on boards; the others will be placed at other public facilities in the community.

“Scott would be honored to know he was giving back to the community,” Pat said.

The board members and audience gave the family and firefighters a standing ovation and remarked on how much they miss having Tillson on the board.

“We haven’t been able to replace him,” said board chair Frisco White. “I don’t think we ever will.”


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