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SFFD Honors Brave Teens at First Juniors’ Program’s Award Ceremony

On Thursday, Feb. 24 the South Farmingdale Fire Department began its meeting with a special introduction, to honor two of its junior volunteer members with honorable service awards for performing CPR on patients that were in critical situations.

Fifteen-year-old Junior Volunteer Dan Gennaro was wearing neither coat nor boots when his neighbor went into cardiac arrest shoveling snow last month. Gennaro ran to assist a second neighbor, Thomas Hacker, in administering CPR.

“I was in the zone,” Gennaro said. “I did what my training taught me and just kept going, giving 30 compressions, while Tom did the [mouth-to-mouth] two breaths.”

CPR consists of three main steps, air (two breaths), compression, and listening for vital signs, according to South Farmingdale firefighter Lt. George McFarlane.

McFarlane, a senior advisor in the program, said, “Firefighting is a passion. It’s something not a lot of people can do. We’re running into a fire, and everyone else is running out.”

Gennaro and Hacker were joined by the Fire Service’s Juniors’ Program Captain Bryan Purpora.

Captain Purpora, 17, leads the junior members in learning about fire and medical equipment, and teaches fire awareness and EMS techniques to teens.

He said, “I give CPR and also help carry patients; I am my father’s aide.” Purpora is the son of the Department’s Fire Chief Edward Purpora.

This is the program’s first award ceremony since its beginning in 2000, welcoming volunteers aged 12 to 18.

Department Secretary Jennifer Muccioli said of the junior members’ heroic acts, “They really are local examples of our future leadership in action.”