Suffolk dispatcher helps family save 5-year-old found at bottom of pool in Great River

Following several compressions, the child started to breathe again and was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital to recover at the pediatric care unit.

Carmen Grant

Aug 17, 2023, 9:45 PM

Updated 277 days ago

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A family was able to save their child who was found at the bottom of a pool thanks to the help of a Suffolk County emergency dispatcher.
Justin Avolio, an 18-year veteran of Suffolk County Fire and Rescue, received a 911 call for a 5-year-old boy who was found Wednesday at the bottom of a backyard pool in Great River.
News 12 is told the family immediately removed the child from the water, and Avolio walked them through how to perform CPR over the phone until emergency responders got there.
Avolio says he stayed calm and was able to instruct the female caller how to perform CPR on the boy who was not breathing and was blue.
“I instructed they place one hand on the forehead and the neck, tilt the head and give two breaths into their lungs,” Avolio says.
Following two breaths and several compressions, the child started to breathe again and was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital to recover at the pediatric care unit.
Suffolk County Fire and Rescue Commissioner Patrick Beckley praised Avolio for assisting the family save the life of the boy.
“Being a dispatcher takes a certain type of person,” Beckley says. “If you ask them, they will say It’s the most rewarding and stressful job, but they do it every day.”
Dispatchers at the Suffolk County Fire and Rescue in Yaphank are trained in CPR.
On average, the emergency unit handles around 400,000 calls a year.


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