Local leaders honor lifeguards for saving man’s life at Orchard Beach

Councilman Mark Gjonaj, Senator Jamaal Bailey and Deputy Borough President Marricka Scott-McFadden presented the lifeguards with citations for their heroic actions.
Photo by Jason Cohen

Lifeguards who rescued who man who suffered a heart attack while swimming in the ocean last month were honored Monday by elected officials.

On July 29, lifeguards Julio Benjamin, Troy Washington, Andres Rodriguez, Arlene Suzana and Andriy Kapys rescued 33-year-old Joachin Rosado, who collapsed in knee-deep water. Chief Lifeguard Elvin Calderin and Chief Lifeguard Jorge Mino also assisted in the rescue.

“We saw him wade out and suddenly he collapsed face down into the water,” said Lifeguard Supervisor Neil Veloz. “When we reached him and pulled him out, he had no pulse and wasn’t breathing.”

Kapys and Suzana pulled Rosado from the water. Immediately Benjamin and Washington began CPR to resuscitate him. But when they used the defibrillator, “he had no shockable heart rhythm,” Veloz said.

Lifeguards began a cycle of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and used a bag valve mask (BVM) to pump air into Rosado’s lungs. Soon they saw signs of life return even as the victim lay on a backboard semi-unconscious.

“I always check on our rescues,” Veloz said. “I was relieved when the doctors said he was going to make it and has no apparent permanent damage.”

Councilman Mark Gjonaj, Senator Jamaal Bailey and Deputy Borough President Marricka Scott-McFadden presented the lifeguards with citations for their heroic actions.

“The men and women behind us are unsung heroes,” Gjonaj said. “When we think of first responders we often think of EMS, fire and police, seldom do we think of first responders as life guards. Today we recognize this group and recognize all the lifeguards.”

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