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CPR

Port Jefferson Trustee Larry LaPointe stands with code officers, from left, James Murdocco, John Vinicombe, Paul Barbato and Gina Savoie as they pose with their proclamations. Photo by Elana Glowatz

Port Jefferson Village honored five code enforcement officers on Monday night who officials say went above the call of duty to serve the community.

Two helped save an overdosing man’s life, one attempted to revive a car crash victim, another thwarted a burglary and a lieutenant protected the village during the recent heavy snowstorm. The board of trustees presented them with proclamations for their service to cheers from the audience at Village Hall.

Gina Savoie was commended for preventing a break-in at a home in the Harbor Hills area earlier this month after she saw suspicious activity and called for police assistance. According to code bureau Chief Wally Tomaszewski, two Coram residents were arrested for loitering as a result.

Paul Barbato, who received a proclamation last year for reviving a man in cardiac arrest at a Port Jefferson restaurant, was honored again Monday for attempting to save a Belle Terre man trapped inside a Lamborghini that had crashed into a pole on East Broadway. Barbato, the first on the scene of the mid-December crash near High Street, got inside the car and performed CPR.

Lt. John Borrero is honored. Photo by Elana Glowatz
Lt. John Borrero is honored. Photo by Elana Glowatz

Although his attempt ultimately proved unsuccessful, he “tried desperately to save his life,” Tomaszewski said in a previous interview. “Believe me, his boots were filled with blood.”

A couple of weeks later, James Murdocco and John Vinicombe responded to an opioid overdose at the Islandwide Taxi stand near the Port Jefferson Long Island Rail Road station. Mayor Margot Garant said Monday that the officers were told the young victim was dead, and they found no pulse or respiration. Murdocco and Vinicombe each administered the anti-overdose medication Narcan and Murdocco performed CPR.

The man regained consciousness and “became violent,” she said, and had to be restrained.

Garant added an unplanned honor to Monday night’s affair, commending Lt. John Borrero for his work during the blizzard, commonly dubbed Winter Storm Jonas, that hit Long Island hard on Jan. 23.

“I cannot tell you what this one gentleman did, on tour all day, making sure our streets are safe, shutting down roads, calling other code enforcement officers in during a massive blizzard — he’s out there helping employees get to work at St. Charles Hospital,” the mayor said. “Your service to this community is just invaluable, John. I cannot tell you the amount of respect you earned that night.”

She told the audience that there is more to the code enforcement bureau than meets the eye.

“These officers are not merely giving out tickets,” Garant said, “but they’re saving lives.”

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A hockey player was revived from a cardiac arrest on Monday after an off-duty police officer and good Samaritans stepped in.

According to the Suffolk County Police Department, the 49-year-old victim went into cardiac arrest and collapsed while playing hockey at the Sports Arena on Middle Country Road in St. James shortly after midnight. The off-duty cop, Steven Turner, who was also playing hockey and works in the SCPD’s Highway Patrol, and several others performed CPR and administered two shocks from the facility’s defibrillator. The collapsed man regained a pulse and started to breathe on his own again following the shocks.

Police said the rescued man was in stable condition at Stony Brook University Hospital.

Code Chief Wally Tomaszewski helps honor officer Paul Barbato on Monday night. Photo by Elana Glowatz

Port Jefferson officials and residents honored a village code officer on Monday night after he helped save another man’s life while on duty.

On March 15, Paul Barbato was working in the village when a call came in of an unconscious man who was not breathing and was slouched over a table at Grumpy Jack’s sports bar and grill on Oakland Avenue in upper Port, according to Mayor Margot Garant. Barbato responded and found the victim did not have a pulse.

“Barbato lowered him to the floor and initiated chest compressions and rescue breathing,” Garant said.

At that point, a Suffolk County police officer made it to the scene with a defibrillator and the pair got the man breathing again. Garant said an ambulance transported the man, who survived the incident, to John T. Mather Memorial Hospital.

The mayor presented Barbato, who was hired in 2012, with a certificate of appreciation during the board of trustees meeting on Monday, to much applause from the crowd of residents in attendance.

According to code bureau Chief Wally Tomaszewski, Barbato was originally trained as a park ranger and when he’s not working in village code enforcement, he transports criminals who are being removed from the U.S., to places as far away as Asia, Europe and North Africa or as close as Canada.

“So when you see a guy aboard an airplane, he’s got somebody with him with a set of handcuffs on, the other guy with the tie is Paul.”

Tomaszewski also said Barbato is tough and when residents see him walking Main Street, they should shake hands with him, “and you’ll notice that he has a hand like a rock. Nobody would dare mess with him.”

But in addition to muscle, he also brings a passion for the job.

“One thing I love about seeing you in the village is you always stop and you say hi and you say how much you love working here,” Garant said to Barbato.

The officer did the same for the audience, saying, “I think this is just one of the nicest places you can get up in the morning and come to work.”

Upon receiving the certificate, he said, “You spoil me here.”

“You saved somebody’s life,” the mayor interjected. “That’s a big deal.”

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