FDNY Hosts 24th Annual Second Chance Ceremony

May 22, 2018

On Tuesday, May 22, FDNY hosted its 24th annual Second Chance ceremony at Liberty Warehouse in Red Hook, Brooklyn during National EMS Week 2018.

At the ceremony – held each year during National EMS Week – patients who have survived cardiac arrest reunite with the Paramedics, Emergency Medical Technicians, FDNY EMS Officers, Firefighters, bystanders, and other first responders who saved their lives.

“Each of our honored guests was struck down at different moments in their lives but what they all have common is that they received the greatest care possible from FDNY EMS,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. “A New Yorker, or a visitor to our great city calls 911 for medical help, and our members rush to their aid – it happens 4,000 times a day and more than 1.4 million times a year. The enormous responsibility of providing that care is one our Department is proud to own.”

One of the survivors was 16th month old Emma Hasankolli, who was found unresponsive by her father, Albert, on the morning of March 10, 2017. Mr. Hasankolli called 911 and while EMS units responded, FDNY Assignment Receiving Dispatcher Christopher Hughes kept Mr. Hasankolli calm and provided him with instructions to administer CPR on his daughter.

Mr. Hasankolli was soon met by FDNY Lieutenant Jesus Deinnocentiis and Paramedics Maggi Peterson and Joseph Laporte from Station 40. They continued CPR and prepared Emma for immediate transport to the hospital, which is essential in pediatric cardiac cases. Thanks to the continuous CPR care and a shock from the defibrillator, her circulation was restored as well as a second chance at life.

Michael Fenster was running in the Brooklyn Half Marathon on May 20, 2017, when he went into cardiac arrest. Mr. Fenster received bystander CPR from an off-duty Paramedic until FDNY EMTs Arthur Bronshteyn and Marvin Zuniga from Station 43 arrived. The EMTs continued CPR to restore Mr. Fenster’s circulation. Shortly, Lieutenant Daniel Napoletano and Paramedics Robert Lapre and Josseph Castelli, also from Station 43, arrived and applied a cardiac monitor. They found that Mr. Fenster’s heart was beating in an unstable rhythm. As a result, they delivered a second shock to restore a stable rhythm, inserted a tube to assist his breathing, and established an IV.

“The magnitude of the situation still hasn’t hit me, I just felt like I went to sleep and when I woke up I found out that I had been saved,” said Mr. Fenster. “These first responders have such an amazing impact on the world today and I want to thank them for making a difference in my life and in other lives as well.”

To read all the stories from the Second Chance Ceremony, click here.

For photos of the ceremony, click here.

To read more about the patients and first responders, visit FDNY’s Instagram.