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Press Releases / 2006 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 18, 2006


The New York City Fire Department held its 12th Annual Second Chance Brunch today in downtown Brooklyn, reuniting victims of cardiac arrest with the FDNY Paramedics, EMT’s and Firefighters who saved their lives, giving them a “second chance.”

Among those honored was 19 month-old Isiah Hollingsworth who was found floating face down, not breathing in the family swimming pool, and 17-year-old Vincin Warren who collapsed and went into cardiac arrest during a basketball game, both were successfully revived by FDNY members. By virtue of their dedication and commitment to quality patient care, these EMT’s, Paramedics continue to provide critical frontline care that saves lives everyday.

“Over 1.3 million times a year whenever lives are at stake, Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians provide urgently needed medical care to residents and visitors of New York City” said Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta. “As we have heard from the amazing stories today, one important factor in saving victims of cardiac arrest is the early application of CPR, there is no question that CPR saves lives. “
Recent studies continue to show that sudden cardiac arrest is a major unresolved health problem throughout the world.  Each year, it strikes over 350,000 people in the United States alone.  Sadly, many of these victims die before reaching the hospital, usually within two hours of the onset of symptoms.  Research has shown that early defibrillation, within the first few minutes after sudden cardiac arrest and followed by advanced care, greatly increases the survival rate.

Some of the amazing stories of survival include:

Yonnette Hollingsworth of Brooklyn was feeding her 19 month-old son, Isiah, at 9312 Avenue M on the evening of July 19, 2005, when she briefly left to go to the bathroom. When she returned, Isiah had ventured out into the backyard, as she approached the gate leading to the pool she found Isiah face down in the water. She screamed out for her 15-year-old son, Nevillion, who came running and quickly jumped into the pool, pulled Isiah out and began resuscitation efforts.

EMT’s James Byrnes and Phillip Derosa had just started their tour when they responded to the call for an infant in cardiac arrest. It was believed Isiah had been submerged for at least five minutes. Reaching the backyard, EMT Byrne directed Nevillon to breathe into the baby’s mouth as he and his partner began to set-up their airway equipment.

Since no air appeared to be filling the lungs, EMT Byrne took Isiah and began obstructed airway procedures. This proved to be successful as he began to spit-up the water trapped in his lungs. EMT Byrne then started rescue breathing by using a device calleda bag-valve-mask (BVM).

By this time, Fire Department Paramedics Howard Henry and Raymond Bartolomey were on the scene and directed the EMT crew to the ambulance where they continued with artificial respirations and airway suctioning. Paramedic Henry could feel a pulse but urged EMT Byrne to keep up the ventilations. Isiah was transported to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Brookdale Hospital and was home ten days later.

On the evening of March 10, 2005 Vincin Warren, 17, a student at Grover Cleveland High School in the Bronx went to the nearby playground to play basketball. While playing, he suddenly collapsed; within minutes of a bystander calling 911 Fire Department EMT’s Michael King and Andre Zulkifli arrived and found Vincin lying on the court not breathing.

EMT King started CPR and EMT Zulkifli applied the defibrillator to Vincin’s chest. After two shocks, Certified First Responders from Engine Company 69 arrived and assisted with the CPR already in progress. After a third shock, his pulse returned. 

Paramedics quickly arrived and started advanced care, continuing to ventilate Vincin as they transported him to Harlem Hospital where doctors continued to monitor his condition closely, Vincin was transfer to Columbia Presbyterian where he was evaluated and received an implantable cardioverter defibrillator. Just a month after his brush with death, Vincin was back in school. 

Press Contact: Francis X. Gribbon / Seth E. Andrews, FDNY (718) 999-2056

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