By JOSEPH LOPEZ
The scorching sun that has been a staple over New York City skies during this year’s heatwave-heavy summer has had many residents flocking to local beaches for a little fun and relief.
The uptick of people cooling off in the water has also meant more potential drownings, keeping the lifeguards and supervisors of Local 461 and Local 508 on high alert.
On the morning of July 18, Lifeguards Sharon Greaves and Andrey Povroznik sprang into action at Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn when a 76-year-old man’s dip in the ocean turned into a matter of life-or-death. The two lifeguards pulled the elderly individual out of the waters that had overtaken him, and they brought him to land, where they began CPR procedures.
“He had no pulse,” said Greaves, a 28 year veteran. Using lifesaving techniques, Greaves and Povroznik were able to revive his heartbeat before EMTs arrived. Their quick action saved the senior citizen’s life.
“We’ve had a few serious cases that required CPR this year,” Povroznik said, who has been on the job for 15 years. “There have been lots of older people at the beach this season with the heat, and many of them already have health problems like heart issues that can be aggravated by the conditions.”
“Every day when we come to work, we have to be prepared for anything,” Greaves said. “Saving lives is part of our job. It’s what we’re put here for. It’s what we do.”
This originally appeared in the September 2016 issue of Public Employee Press.