Sheriff's deputy, NCCC student recognized for life-saving work

PHOTO COURTESY OF NIAGARA COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGEFirst-year nursing student Sarie Muscarella receives a certificate for Outstanding Service for her role in providing life-saving CPR on a NCCC employee. Pictured her, from left to right, are: Cynthia O’Keefe Allsop, nursing faculty member, Muscarella and Diane Roth, assistant vice president of academic affairs for nursing and allied health.

A call for "help" came across Niagara County Community College's Public Safety radio channel last month.

According to a timeline of events provided by NCCC, the call came from Niagara County Sheriffs Deputy Michael Rosky as he ran to aid an incapacitated adult male. Moments later, nursing student Sarie Muscarella entered the E building vestibule on her way to class on Nov. 8.

Muscarella ran to Rosky's side on the debilitated man at the base of a stairwell and began checking his vitals and providing initial CPR efforts. On their way were campus security officers, Linda Haner-Mele and Ryan Newton.

As the campus security officers assisted Muscarella and Rosky, who was on duty as part of a school partnership with the sheriff's office, another student grabbed a defibrillator kept on campus in the common, glassed-in compartment secured to the wall. 

Meanwhile, a passing faculty member ran to alert campus Wellness Center employees, Cheri Yager and Michael Campagna, who went to work administering the defibrillator. 

By the time emergency responders from Tri Community Ambulance and the Sanborn Fire Co. arrived, the victim had regained consciousness and was transported to the hospital for further care. 

Rosky and Muscarella were among those honored on Thursday during a ceremony at NCCC. Interim President Dr. William Murabito credited their quick thinking and skilled efforts.

For her role in the incident, Muscarella was awarded a certificate for "Outstanding Service" by Cynthia O’Keefe Allsop, nursing faculty member, and Diane Roth, assistant vice president of Academic Affairs for Nursing. 

"The nursing program at NCCC is very proud of Sarie for using her critical thinking and basic life support skills during an emergency situation," O’Keefe-Allsop said. "She emulates what we desire from a NCCC nursing student and is a welcome addition to our program. Sarie is truly a life saver." 

Muscarella credited her family’s CPR training business and the NCCC nursing program with giving her the skills to react and provide assistance during the emergency.

Muscraella is planning on obtaining multiple nursing certification from NCCC and is considering a career as an emergency room nurse.

"You don’t have to be in the medical field to save a life," she said. "I recommend CPR training or basic first aid to everyone.”

Sara Harvey, assistant director of public relations at the college, said the employee has recovered and is expected to return to work soon.

"We’re hoping within the next week," she said.