Desjardins, a member of the East Northport Fire Department was recognized Oct.
26 for rescuing a local EMT on a Long Island Rail Road train last year.
On Oct. 17, 2012, Desjardins boarded the 8:11 a.m. LIRR train from Northport when Tom D’Antonio, 53, a man who Desjardins later learned was a member of the Huntington Community First Aid Squad, began to show symptoms of cardiac distress. D’Antonio soon went into full cardiac arrest while on the train, According to a press release.
The train conductor made an announcement asking for medical assistance and Desjardins, who happened to be carrying a barrier device, quickly responded to help, providing the initial compressions and ventilations.
According to the release, Desjardins provided CPR for 12 minutes until the train reached the Mineola platform, where Desjardins extracted D’Antonio from the double decker train and carried him to the platform where an off duty nurse from Winthrop hospital and a Nassau County Police Officer arrived with a defibrillator. Tom received two shocks from the defibrillator on his way to the hospital. D’Antonio spent three weeks in the intensive care unit and an additional week in Winthrop hospital before his release.
D’Antonio is now back in action as an EMT with the Huntington Community First Aid Squad.
“Saving Tom’s life was one of the most significant moments of my life and my EMS career,” Desjardins said.
He explained that survival rate for pre-hospital cardiac arrest is less than 10 percent.
“CPR works. If you have not taken a class, find one to take. If you have extra time to volunteer, join a local firehouse or ambulance squad. One person does make a difference” he said in a statement.
The firefighter was recognized at the NYS Vital Signs EMS Conference in Buffalo for his life-saving actions that day.
He has also won the New York State Excelsior Award from Assemblyman Andrew Raia, received a Proclamation from Town of Huntington Susan Berland and the Town Board, received the Suffolk County Basic Life Support Provider of the Year, won the EMS medal and the chiefs medal from the East Northport Fire Department and arrangements are being made for Senator John Flanagan to present Jon with the New York State Senate Liberty Medal for his work.