Town officials hold defibrillator that lifeguards used to help save a man's life. (Photo: Town of Oyster Bay)
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Lifeguards honored for saving Syosset man’s life

A team of lifeguards who work at the Syosset-Woodbury Pool were honored this week for their efforts in saving a swimmer who suffered a heart attack.

On the morning of July 27, Lifeguard Michael Iannucci noticed 75-year-old Herb Molander break from his normal swim stroke, and begin to struggle and roll to his side. Iannucci blew three whistles, which activated the lifeguard’s Emergency Action Plan, and dove into the water to rescue Molander. 

After lifeguards Cecilia Nelson, Ryan Harrison, Andres Martinez, Liam Kalbacher and David Kitograd pulled Molander from the pool and he didn’t respond to CPR, Nelson prepped a defibrillator and Harrison applied the electrodes. Nelson and Harrison resumed compressions on Molander who spit up water and eventually began to breath. Lifeguard Captain Kaitlin Bruckner monitored Molander’s breathing, pulse, and level of consciousness until the Syosset Fire Department arrived and took him to the hospital. 

“Our community takes great pride in recognizing the amazing actions of heroic individuals such as the members of the lifeguard team at Syosset-Woodbury Community Pool, who all displayed amazing heroism during a time of crisis,” Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino said in a town statement. “The quick thinking and courageous actions by the lifeguard team, headed by Lifeguard Captain Kaitlin Bruckner and Lifeguard Lieutenants Ryan Harrison and Courtney Rupert no doubt saved the life of Herb Molander and had they not responded as decisively as they did, utilizing the amazing training provided to our town lifeguards, the outcome would surely have been tragically different. On behalf of the town board, we commend all of you for these lifesaving efforts.”

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