David Mancini of Local 884 (New Haven City Employees) has seen his share of tragedies and successes. That comes with the turf when you’re a public safety dispatcher.
On a sultry day in mid-July, Mancini’s decisive thinking and calm demeanor transformed a potential tragedy into a stunning success when he helped save the life of 4-year-old boy who had fallen into a pool.
“We performed CPR using a team approach, so we were able to keep the child alive until emergency crews got to the scene,” said Mancini, crediting both the youngster’s family and his co-workers in New Haven’s 911 Emergency Communications Center for resuscitating the youngster.
Mancini, 43, was working at his normal post as a 911 dispatcher when a call came about a 4-year-old boy who had fallen into a pool. Family members pulled the boy out of the water and then called 911. Mancini fielded the call and directed a 20-year-old family member to successfully perform CPR on the child while waiting for emergency responders to arrive.
“The older boy was in a panic, so I had to calmly talk him through the procedure, step by step,” says Mancini. “It was important to make him part of the team, and keep him focused until the EMTs arrived.”
The City of New Haven Police Dispatch Center is the second busiest in the state. Mancini and his co-workers at the fire department’s communications center respond to a myriad of emergencies every day.
A 14-year veteran, he has assisted in the delivery of babies and once helped rescue a disabled man in a wheelchair who was caught in a house fire.
"This was professionalism at it's best," said Local 884 President (and fellow dispatcher) Ron Hobson upon hearing the news. "It was a totally unexpected heroic moment for Dave, and a proud moment for his colleagues. Dispatcher's across America feel and share the joy and results of his action,”
Like public workers across the country, Mancini considers his job a vital service to the community.
Mancini spent nearly 6 minutes on the phone with the child’s family. Those six minutes saved a life – and will be forever implanted in Mancini’s memory. “I’m obviously very happy, and the little boy and his family are happy,” he said. “We’re going to do some things to help him. I want to see how he does as he gets older.”