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The Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department was returning to HQ on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. following four other calls for service. These calls included a car accident, a child locked in a house and two EMS related calls. With several units on the road staffed with emergency medical personnel — another call was received. This call would be the most serious of the day, and one many on scene won't forget.
Units were summoned to Maple Avenue in Cedarhurst for a child not breathing. Within a minute from the time the call was received, LCFD Deputy Chief Anthony Rivelli Jr., a NYS emergency medical technician, was on the scene.
"When I got to the infant, he was lifeless — no respirations and no pulse," he said.
Rivelli immediately began to clear the infant's airway of a blockage and began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. An LCFD engine company arrived with Lt. Moshe Bellehsen and Firefighter Justin Caliguri, who immediately began assisting Rivelli.
Bellehsen began a series of "back blows and chest compressions" while Caliguri set up an oxygen delivery system. With most of the blockage cleared, Rivelli carried the infant to a waiting ambulance. Once inside, a skilled crew of EMT's in additional to a pediatric ER nurse began more comprehensive pre-hospital care, with Rivelli providing ventilations the entire way to the hospital.
Nassau County and New York City police officers provided a clear passage for the ambulance to rapidly get the child to St. John's Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway. The child was successfully revived through a true team effort of first responders. Once stabilized, the infant was transferred to LIJ Children's Hospital for further care.
"The community should be grateful for the level of expertise our volunteers provide day to day," Rivelli said. "This is the third time in as many years I've personally been able to participate in a successful life saving effort between the Lawrence-Cedarhurst and Woodmere Fire Departments."
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