HARRISON, NY — Two Harrison police officers are being honored for their roles in saving the life of a soccer player who collapsed on the athletic field at Harrison High School.
Officers Michael Pellegrino Jr. and Michael Basciano are being recognized as officers of the month for their actions on May 19. It appears that, in this case, the satisfaction of a job well done really is better than a well-deserved award.
“Congratulations Officers Pellegrino and Basciano,” Harrison Police Department officials said in a statement announcing the honor. “Your diligence and calm in the high stress and high stakes situation resulted in the ability to allow loved ones to continue to make and share memories with him. There is no better reward for first responders.”
Just before 9 p.m. on a Wednesday in May, Pellegrino and Basciano were called to Harrison High School where a player fell unconscious on the soccer field. When Pellegrino arrived on scene, he saw Jeremy Lang, a volunteer firefighter in West Harrison and teammate of the victim, performing CPR on the stricken player.
Lang told the officer that the man collapsed on the field during a match. Lang quickly realized the player was not breathing and did not have a pulse. He started CPR on the victim moments before police arrived.
Fortunately, there was an automated external defibrillator (AED) on the field. The trained volunteer firefighter was able to use the life-saving device along with his CPR efforts.
Pellegrino immediately took over CPR and used a Harrison Police Department defibrillator. With help from fellow officer Basciano, the two worked together to continue life-saving CPR until Harrison EMS arrived.
The collective efforts of the volunteer fireman, Harrison Police Officers and Harrison EMS personnel brought a pulse back to the victim and he was brought to an area hospital in stable condition.
Once at the hospital, the very lucky soccer player learned that he would need surgery for a heart condition . He has since made a full recovery.