Quick thinking and training in CPR techniques helped Jonathan and Rashidah Dorvil save the life of their baby brother. Jonathan and Rashidah are both students in the Stamford schools. Through separate programs in school, CPR training was part of their education. Rashidah became certified in September 2010; Jonathan was trained and certified in spring 2011.
The brother and sister were just home from school one afternoon last September and were settling in to do homework and to watch over their baby brother, William, while their mother, a nurse, went to work. William, recently fed, was sleeping in his crib.
Jonathan reports that the baby’s room “was really quiet, so I went in just to check on William.” He says he was “shocked to see that he had vomit all over his face and it looked like it also came out of his nose.”
Jonathan called his sister, who rushed up to the room. They checked and found the baby was not breathing. They laid him on the kitchen table and began performing CPR on William, taking turns. Rashidah called 911. They continued the CPR cycles and, when emergency medical personnel arrived, William had already begun breathing on his own.
Jonathan and Rashidah, asked about their experience and if they would do it again, replied that Rashidah plans to be a nurse and Jonathan plans to be a pediatrician. “We are hoping to save many more lives,” Jonathan said.
Pat Bradbury, Physical Education/Health Department Head at Stamford High School, nominated the Dorvils for this recognition. “This heroic act from Jonathan and Rashidah is living proof that… CPR being taught in schools is beneficial and life saving.”
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Last October, Darby Hogan saved the life of a young man. Hogan was at home when calls for help outside caught her attention. Running out of her house, she came upon a young man unconscious and not breathing.
Recently certified in Red Cross CPR/AED and First Aid, Hogan knew what to do. Yelling to her sister to call 911, she began performing CPR. After several cycles, the young man was resuscitated and medical personnel arrived, transporting him to the hospital. He is alive today because of Darby Hogan’s quick action and training.
Hogan was nominated for this recognition by Camille Quattrocchi, District Content Leader of Health & Physical Education for Stamford Public Schools. She is the instructor who taught and certified Darby Hogan in her Red Cross training “just a few weeks prior to this incident,” she writes.
“Darby is fully certified and is clearly capable of handling herself under pressure. She saved a life and our school community is so proud of her,” Quattrocchi says, adding, “Admittedly, after 13 years of teaching, this was my proudest moment as an educator.”
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When his mother began to choke, Zack Ligham remained calm but immediately went into action.
Zack was home with his mother when she began to choke on a piece of lettuce. While his sister called 911, Zack began to assist his mother, putting into practice the CPR and First Aid training he had received when he was 10.
Using a combination of abdominal thrusts and back blows, Zack dislodged the food from his mother’s airway. The training was helpful as was good placement of safety information at his school. Zack says he remembered details from the Red Cross choking safety poster hanging in his school cafeteria.
When Guilford Police arrived at the scene to verify that Zack’s mother was indeed okay, the responding officer learned the details of Zack’s assistance and decided to nominate him for recognition.
For his part, Zack says he is flattered but “I was just present in my mom’s time of need. I’d hope anyone would react as I did.” He was also quick to praise his younger sister, who called 911. “She did a great job staying calm.”
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Faced with a terrifying emergency, five men took quick action to help a stranger. The men were at a Fairfield Little League game on September 6 of last year.
Carolan is a team manager, Giacomazza and Porrazzo are coaches. The men were with their middle school teams at a game in Tunxis Hill Park when a vehicle in a nearby parking lot burst into flames. The fire was sudden and intense, blowing out the vehicle’s windows. As the men, their teams and parents watched in horror, a burning man ran from the vehicle.
The men sprang into action, calling 911 and running toward the parking lot. They jumped a fence, found a blanket that they threw around the victim and kept encouraging him to “stop, drop and roll.” Giacomazza sustained burns to his hands and arms.
The victim was transported to Bridgeport Hospital. Tragically, he has since died from his injuries. The outcome does not diminish the heroic actions of the men who tried to save him.
Fairfield First Selectman Michael Tetreau nominated the men for their honor. “Their alleviation of human suffering, turning compassion into action and voluntary service with nothing to gain exemplifies the humanitarian mission of the Red Cross.”
Carolan told reporters for the Fairfield Citizen at the time of the incident that he was “most impressed with the composure of the coaches” who responded with him and credited parents of team members for moving the children to center field and away from the terrifying scene.
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Robert Kitch took quick action, without regard for personal safety, when he rushed to the aid of a driver trapped in a burning vehicle.
Kitch, now a sophomore at the University of Connecticut, was a freshman on the way back to his dorm from dinner one January night in 2012 when he witnessed a three-car accident on North Eagleville Road. At first thinking it a minor accident, Kitch was planning to cross the street and keep walking when he noticed that only two of the three drivers had exited their vehicles and that one engine was revving significantly.
Kitch immediately ran toward the car. As he approached, he saw the rapidly spinning front wheels generating thick smoke. The left front tire popped off the wheel and the spinning wheel began throwing “a shower of sparks around the car,” Kitch said. He ran to the passenger side of the vehicle and saw the driver slumped unconscious behind the wheel and fire and smoke filling the vehicle.
Kitch tried frantically to open the car door, eventually pulling the handle off the car. He then began banging his elbow against the window, hoping to break the glass and free the driver as he noted the dashboard was beginning to burn. Another bystander gave Kitch a hammer, which he used to break the window in the door and he began working to free the driver, whose seatbelt was now in flames. He and the other bystander pulled the driver from the car. “It was very sobering to see how charred his exposed skin was and to feel his stiff and motionless body,” Kitch said. “I honestly thought he didn’t make it.”
First responders arriving at the scene took over, administering CPR to the driver, who revived. All involved were transported to the hospital. Kitch was treated for a bruised and chipped elbow sustained in the rescue attempt. He learned from a nurse that the driver was going to recover, having sustained minor burns and lung damage.
Kitch, a member of Army ROTC at UConn, told the Daily Campus that “it kind of made me happy to have that kind of composure,” and said the incident reinforced his desire to become a police officer when he completes his military service.
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Having the skills to respond in an emergency can help to keep you calm under pressure. And it was an extra measure of dedication that led Colleen Porricelli to get the training she used to save a life on November 7 of last year at the Fawn Hollow Elementary School in Monroe.
At the time employed at Fawn Hollow for less than a year, Porricelli had decided soon after taking a position as a lunch/recess paraprofessional at the school to enroll in Red Cross CPR and First Aid training. Her certification was only a few months old.
During lunch, a fifth grade student in apparent distress approached Porricelli. She asked if he was alright and able to talk. The boy grasped his neck with his hands. Porricelli immediately shouted for help and sprang into action.
Porricelli administered two abdominal thrusts and successfully ejected a piece of food blocking the boy’s airway. The school nurse had by this time been alerted to the situation and arrived on the scene to examine the boy and determine he was okay.
School Principal Rebecca Kosisko writes, “We are so fortunate to have Colleen at Fawn Hollow. She takes her role very seriously.” Kosisko adds, “When she was hired last spring she immediately volunteered to take the Red Cross CPR course, believing it was knowledge and training she should possess.”
Porricelli says, “I was so relieved the child was okay,” noting she was glad she was able to perform the abdominal thrusts that saved the boy.
Porricelli says she was surprised to learn of her nomination. “I felt that I was just doing my job, which is to keep the kids safe. I’m glad I took the CPR class and knew what to do.”
Quick thinking and training in CPR techniques helped Jonathan and Rashidah Dorvil save the life of their baby brother. Jonathan and Rashidah are both students in the Stamford schools. Through separate programs in school, CPR training was part of their education. Rashidah became certified in September 2010; Jonathan was trained and certified in spring 2011. Read more....