When he’s not doing schoolwork or practicing with the varsity football team, Thomas Powers, a junior in Xaverian’s Ryken Educational Program, Bay Ridge, can most often be found at the Rockaway Point Fire Department, where he serves as a volunteer firefighter.
Inspired by his many relatives who are members of the Fire Department of the City of New York, Powers is driven by his desire to help others by one day joining the esteemed ranks of the FDNY.
His service as a volunteer firefighter proved to be of life-and-death importance as he responded to the call of an 86-year-old man in cardiac arrest.
“I was driving home from Bay Ridge, and my pager went off alerting me that there was a man in cardiac arrest,” Powers said. “Christopher Healey, Shannon Fahy, Michael Kahlau (fellow members of the Rockaway Point Fire Department), and I arrived at the scene, and we started CPR right away.
“I began chest compressions while Michael Kahlau used the airbag to get oxygen to the man’s lungs. We did CPR all the way to Beth Israel Hospital.
“The FDNY EMTs assisted and told us that after we arrived at the hospital they were able to get a pulse back on the patient.
“Unfortunately I found out that the patient ultimately did pass away but due to traumatic injury which was sustained when he fell down after his cardiac event.
“He’s with God right now, but his family was so lovely. They thanked us a hundred times for our help.”