[Editor’s Note: Post originally appeared on SILive.com, where I was a breaking news intern from January to August 2016.]
FDNY Lieutenant Michael Romano, Probationary Firefighter Niko Negron, and nurses Jennifer Cosentino and Erica Oppenheim teamed up to help save a man’s life at a gym in Tottenville.
It was close to noon Thursday at Retro Fitness at 2965 Veterans Road West.
Negron, Cosentino and Oppenheim, who were all off-duty and working out, were alerted to a man by the name of Frank, who was pale-faced with his head down and arms hanging.
“Everyone was looking around like they didn’t know what to do,” Oppenheim said. “They were just staring. To actually be able to help and know what to do and keep everyone calm was a great thing.”
Once they found he had no pulse and his lips were turning blue, they went to work.
Negron, who worked at this particular Retro Fitness for three years before becoming a firefighter, pointed Oppenheim to the defibrillator.
The moment Oppenheim brought the defibrillator over, Consentino prepared the device and Negron continued with CPR.
Before checking to see if he needed the shock to his chest, Romano made sure people in the gym were at a safe distance. As soon as the defibrillator advised a shock, they did it and his a pulse came back.
EMS was called at 11:48 p.m. and arrived at 11:52 p.m., according to an FDNY spokeswoman.
Cosentino made sure they knew it was a possible stroke.
He was taken to Staten Island University North, the spokeswoman said.
“We do it all the time and we don’t realize it.” Cosentino said. “Not that you don’t appreciate it, but you don’t acknowledge it like, ‘Hey, we did that today. I did that. We saved that patient’s life.’ Sometimes we do and we’ll high-five each other and tell each other ‘good job, team.’ Things like that. And then we’re like, ‘All right. Time to go to lunch.’ We should give ourselves a little more credit.”
For Negron and Consentino, this was a much more personal situation than normal for them because they see the man at the gym all the time. He was a familiar face that they’d say hi to on occasion.
“It’s a great feeling to know that I was able to help this guy,” Negron said. “It’s nice when you work hard, do all the training and it actually comes through and works. That’s why I do what I do.”
The patient was discharged from the hospital Friday, an FDNY spokeswoman said.