A Ridge firefighter said he was just doing his job when he saved a woman’s life — even though he was on vacation in Mexico at the time.
Daniel DeMeo was in Cancun with his family in September when a commotion drew him to a woman lying on the floor of a restaurant. He said he administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation and chest compressions until other responders came to help.
“She came back to life,” DeMeo said.
“My wife said to me, ‘Do you know what you just did?’ I said, ‘No, what?’ She said, ‘You just saved someone’s life.’”
DeMeo said he had merely responded to an emergency, just as he has many times before during his seven years as a Ridge Fire Department volunteer.
“It’s just what we do,” he said.
DeMeo’s actions earned him plaudits from the Brookhaven Town Board, which honored him during a recent meeting.
“The heroic actions by Daniel are a great reminder of what our firefighters do on a daily basis to save lives,” Town Councilman Michael Loguercio, who also is a Ridge Fire Department volunteer, said in a statement. “I commend him for what he did on that day thousands of miles away and for his service to the community here at home. I am proud to serve with him in the Ridge Fire Department.”
DeMeo, 37, a state Department of Transportation vehicle inspector, said he was on the third day of a 14-day vacation with his wife, Michelle, and their children, Conner, 2, and Crystal, 1, when they walked into a restaurant at a resort.
A woman lay on the floor bleeding after having struck her head, he said.
“People were screaming and yelling, ‘Does anyone know CPR?’ She wasn’t breathing,” DeMeo said in an interview. “When I got to her and checked her pulse, I could see that she wasn’t breathing.”
Another person arrived and found she had no pulse, DeMeo said, Finally, a resort lifeguard came to help.
The woman was revived. DeMeo said he later learned she had survived and recovered.
In a fortuitous turn of events, DeMeo said, he had received a CPR refresher course just a week before the trip to Mexico. He said the course with trainer John Boyd may have helped him remember how to respond to that kind of emergency.
“I’m sure that played some part in it,” he said.