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Hauppauge Fire Department

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Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick, in partnership with the New York Blood Center, will host a blood drive on Monday, July 19 from 2 to 8 p.m. in the second floor Meeting Room at the Hauppauge Fire Department, 855 Wheeler Road, Hauppauge. While walk-ins are welcome, appointments are preferred by visiting www.nybc.org/donate or call 800-933-BLOOD.

New York Blood Center has the following COVID-19 policies in place:

·         Please wear a face covering if not vaccinated;

·         Temperatures will be taken upon arrival; and

·         All donors must be symptom-free for 14 days if recovering from COVID-19, must not have a positive COVID-19 diagnosis in the past 14 days or be self-quarantining.

 This blood drive will not be testing for COVID-19. Individuals are encouraged to contact their healthcare provider for such a test.

 Roughly 2,000 blood donations are needed each day in the New York-New Jersey region. Especially helpful are type O negative blood donations, which are universally accepted by all patients regardless of blood type. However, all blood types are needed. Each blood donation can save up to three lives. Donations are used in a variety of scenarios and patient needs.

Questions? Call 631-724-2929.

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Hauppauge firefighter Larry Kunzig, left of center, and his wife, Grace, right, recount when a pregnant woman collapsed in front of their home Aug. 6. Photo by Kyle Barr

When 45-year veteran firefighter Larry Kunzig, 64, heard his wife, Grace, tell him a pregnant woman had collapsed in front of their Hauppauge house, he didn’t hesitate for a second — not even to grab his shoes. 

“I just ran out of the front door,” Kunzig said. “You don’t even think, you just do.”

Kunzig darted across his front yard at approximately 6:50 p.m. Aug. 6 while still in his socks. He assessed the 47-year-old woman, and upon seeing she was unconscious and not breathing, the firefighter immediately began performing CPR. 

The woman had pulled up with her husband in front of the house in an SUV, according to Assistant Chief Brett Martinez of Hauppauge Fire Department. Her husband was starting to panic when she fell unconsciousness. The woman’s lips were blue and foam was coming from her mouth, according to the accounts of first responders. 

The seven-month pregnant woman was transported by a Stony Brook medic to Stony Brook University Hospital where she underwent an emergency C-section. The name of the mother or baby has not been released; however, officials from the fire department said both are doing well.

“She had a very shallow heartbeat,” Kunzig said. “You just keep doing the CPR. When you see she’s pregnant you want to be careful — you can’t go too low because you don’t want to hurt [the baby.]

Two young volunteers of the Hauppauge Fire Department Andrew Mendola, 18, and Jonathan Munro, 18, just happened to be driving nearby. They heard of the situation through their radio, and saw what was happening in front of their fellow firefighter’s house, they jumped out of the car and took positions on either side of the woman and started helping with CPR. 

“It was shocking to see,” Munro said. It was his first time performing CPR in a real-life emergency. “We just helped in any way we could.”

Mendola said he asked Kunzig if he needed to swap out, but the man was laser focused.

“We asked if he needed help and he said ‘I got this, I got this,” Mendola said. “His adrenaline was going, he was not stopping.”

All together the group kept up CPR for about five minutes before more emergency responders arrived from Nesconset and Hauppauge fire departments. Officials said that the first responder’s actions saved the woman’s life.

Kunzig’s wife said she had stayed up all night praying for the family. 

“I know emotionally what she’s going through,” said Grace Kunzig, 60, a teacher’s aide at Hauppauge School District.

The event hit close to home for the Kunzigs, because Jan. 1 Grace had suddenly collapsed unconscious and was no longer breathing. Emergency medical technicians from the Hauppauge Fire Department, including Mendola, came to help and managed to resuscitate her with an defibrillator. Kunzig remembers how difficult it was for him not knowing if his wife would pull through. 

“It’s hard to work on someone you love,” he said. “It just changes your whole perspective.”

Now the couple said they see what happened Monday as a way of paying it forward in gratitude for all the personnel who helped them in their greatest time of need.

“I was so grateful when they stopped my own cardiac arrest — I can’t thank the men and women enough for helping me,” Grace Kunzig said. 

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Police believe an air conditioner released carbon monoxide into a Hauppauge business Wednesday afternoon, sending 17 employees to the hospital.

According to the Suffolk County Police Department, a female employee at Liqui-Mark on Davids Drive had complained of a headache and nausea. Officers from the 4th Precinct, the Hauppauge Fire Department, the Smithtown fire marshal and local ambulance personnel responded to the scene. When carbon monoxide detectors showed high levels of the gas, the HFD tested about 30 employees for exposure — 17 of whom tested positive.

The woman who first reported feeling ill was treated for non-life-threatening conditions at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, police said. The other 16 exposed employees, who felt no symptoms, were treated at Good Samaritan, Bay Shore’s Southside Hospital and St. Catherine of Sienna Medical Center in Smithtown.

Officials said an air conditioning unit is believed to have caused the high levels of carbon monoxide at the business, which will be closed until that unit is repaired. Police said additional carbon monoxide detectors are being installed at the building.

The fire marshal is still investigating.