Retired Firefighter Helps Save Drowning Toddler in Queens

The child was in serious but stable condition

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A retired city firefighter helped save a 2-year-old boy who nearly drowned in a neighbor's pool. Andrew Siff reports. (Published Friday, Jul 5, 2013)

    A retired firefighter helped save a 2-year-old boy who nearly drowned in a neighbor's pool during Fourth of July festivities in Queens, officials said.

    John Manzione performed CPR on the child after his father pulled him from an inflatable backyard pool on Jay Avenue in Maspeth. 

    The retired firefighter said he was attending a block party nearby when he heard screams and "ran around the corner" to help.

    Manzione, a 32-year FDNY veteran, told the New York Post the child's eyes were rolled back in his head and he wasn't breathing, but at that moment, "all the training kicked in and I went on instinct."

    The boy was initially in cardiac arrest but EMTs revived him in the ambulance. He was taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where officials said he was awake and alert. He's listed in serious, but stable condition.

    "This isn't my first rescue," Manzione said. "All that training popped back into my head. I'm glad that I was home and that I was able to help."

    He retired in January from Engine Co. 291 in Ridgewood, Queens, and was in Maspeth Thursday to celebrate his mother's 83rd birthday as well as Independence Day.

    His family looked on as Manzione rushed to help the boy.

    "I'm so proud, I did nothing but cry," said his mother, Marie Manzione. "I saw him run over like he was flying."

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