‘Quick Work’ Saves Teen
The teen, whose name is being withheld because of his age, was on Beach 120 Street in Rockaway Park at about 3 p.m. on Memorial Day when he collapsed on the beach.
An off-duty firefighter and a registered nurse from St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway, who were sunbathing on the beach at the time, rushed to his aid and began CPR, onlookers told The Wave. Neither of the lifesavers has been identified.
One eyewitness said that the response of the lifeguards was “atrocious,” that they could not find either oxygen or a device to shock the teen’s heart into action for several minutes.
Vince Flood, a long-time EMT stationed in the Rockaway headquarters, said that when he and his partner, Sean Jospen, came on the scene a few minutes later, it was “a good scene,” and that firefighters from Engine 328 and lifeguards were doing CPR with the assistance of the nurse and had already shocked the teen once with a defibrillator device to restart his heart.
The two EMTs quickly hooked up their defibrillator and got a pulse.
They then incubated him and took him to Jamaica Hospital.
Also on the scene were EMTs Kevin Healy and Kerry Burnett.
Flood said that they most likely would have taken him to the Peninsula Hospital Center had it been open, but that without it, Jamaica became the best bet.
He added that they had a police escort all the way to the hospital, greatly cutting down the transport time to about 11 minutes. Sources say that the teen remains in stable condition at the hospital at press time.