County Executive’s Corner: “Bravery in Action”

By County Executive Ed Day

Rockland County is truly blessed to have such a strong local tradition of volunteerism. Not only do volunteers in the fire and emergency services risk their lives on a daily basis to keep us safe but they are some of the most highly trained individuals I have ever met.

Our Office of Fire and Emergency Services is constantly expanding and improving their training programs for firefighters and emergency responders. It is their mission to provide all the support and training necessary to ensure that all our first responders provide our citizens with the finest available emergency services.

I can state without any doubt that they are succeeding in that mission. I had the privilege to recently acknowledge three members of the Congers Fire Department whose quick action and outstanding effort saved a life. On the morning of Sunday, January 26th, a 49-year-old man was suffering from a cardiac event and was being driven to the emergency room by his wife.

As they were passing the Congers Firehouse on Route 9W she pulled into the parking lot and alerted these three volunteers who leapt into action. They quickly determined the man was unconscious and did not have a pulse. That’s when Chief Engineer Robert Ryder and 2nd Assistant Lieutenant Ryan Loock started performing CPR.

Assistant Chief Joseph Britney notified the Clarkstown Police and they promptly engaged the victim with an Automated External Defibrillator. After two shocks the man’s pulse and breathing were restored, he was then taken to the hospital by Congers Valley Cottage Ambulance and Rockland Paramedics.

The instant response of these three firefighters and their recognition of how serious a medical emergency they were facing resulted directly in saving a life.

As a former first responder, I know these men would never call themselves heroes; they were simply doing what they were trained to do. But they are heroes. Not only for their actions on that Sunday but for every conscious choice that they have made that led them to be at the firehouse that day.

These three volunteers are just one small example of the exemplary men and women we have serving our residents. If you are interested in learning more about volunteering or just being better prepared to face a disaster or difficult circumstance call our Office of Fire and Emergency Services or visit their website to see what classes they are currently offering.

Thank you to all of the volunteers here in Rockland and across our great State, that risk their lives to protect ours.