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Hometown Heroes: Recognizing Lifesaving Actions of Three U-E Educators

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Steve Distefano, Tom Bierworth, Wendy Antalek, RN  are this week's Serafini Nissan-Volvo Hometown Heroes.

The Red Cross honored the three U-E educators with the Education award, presented to an educator or layperson who used lifesaving training to save the life of another in an educational setting or an educator responding in the community. 

It was just another school day when Union-Endicott High School Principal, Steve DiStefano, heard a huge thud outside his office. Upon investigating,

Steve discovered one of his maintenance men had passed out and was lying on the floor. His first thought was that the man had had a stroke but noticing that the man was turning blue, he started compressions.

Also hearing the noise, which he described as "sounding like 100 pounds of books being dropped," Associate Principal Tom Bierworth quickly joined Steve.

With years of training from his coaching days, Bierworth said, "All I could remember were the words: LOOK, LISTEN, and FEEL."

Tom gave two rescue breaths, shook the man, and pushed his head back. Meanwhile, Wendy Antalek, RN, arrived, assessed the situation and called for an AED. When it arrived, Wendy began shocking him.

The paramedics arrived and took over the situation; the man slowly responded. When he started talking, everyone took a huge sigh of relief. After undergoing further treatment, the maintenance man is back at work.

All three Education Heroes agree that their training, early intervention, compressions and the utilization of the AED within 4-5 minutes, were the reasons that the man survived.