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Chief James Scullion Medal

March 15, 1998, 1922 hours
Staten Island EMS Communications Center



Leonard Tiberi
EMT-D: Leonard Tiberi

Leonard Tiberi was appointed to EMS on March 11, 1996. Assigned to EMS Battalion 43. He is the recipient of four pre-hospital saves. His fiancee, Donna Hannon, works at FDNY headquarters. He resides in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.


It was March 15, 1998, and EMT-D Leonard Tiberi, a new cro (call-receiving operator), was working the evening shift at the EMS Communications Center. It began as just another routine evening, with most calls requiring the dispatch of an ambulance to a medical emergency. The routine was ended abruptly at 1922 hours, when EMT-D Tiberi answered an incoming call from Staten Island. A man’s voice sounded from the other end and his despondent tone immediately alerted the EMT that this was a troubled individual. The caller stated that he had a loaded gun and was going to put it in his mouth and kill himself. EMT-D Tiberi remained calm and professional, coaxing information from the emotionally disturbed person. Realizing the gravity of the situation playing out on the other end of the line, he notified the NYPD and an ambulance crew with this information as quickly as possible, enabling him to return to the aid of the distraught caller. Always mindful of his training, EMT-D Tiberi employed various techniques to engage the caller, thereby keeping him on the line and talking. He hoped that something he might say would reach the distressed man, sparking a will to live. Unfortunately, even these heartfelt pleas were in vain and the next thing EMT-D Tiberi heard was the gunshot with which the man ended his life. Hearing the commotion, the victim’s young sisters, aged eight and nine, ran into the room. The girls obviously were hysterical over the unbelievably graphic scene they stumbled upon and it took a significant amount of professionalism for EMT-D Tiberi to remain level-headed. He offered support and direction in a calming manner, directing the girls to stay away from the loaded weapon. He urged them to go and locate the help that was on the way, getting them away from the grisly scene. As soon as an adult arrived on the scene, EMT-D Tiberi began issuing instructions for life-saving techniques in an attempt to save the victim’s life. Although the condition of the victim was beyond hope and he succumbed to his self-inflicted injuries, EMT-D Tiberi is to be commended for handling the incident in a compassionate, professional and caring way. He remained totally involved throughout the entire incident and was able to lend emotional support to two young, impressionable children, thereby helping them through the tragedy. For his exemplary efforts above and beyond the call of duty, EMT-D Leonard Tiberi is awarded the Chief James Scullion Medal for 1998.--LK

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