**UPDATE** On Friday night, the Farmingdale School District proudly welcomed Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino and his colleagues on the Oyster Bay Town Board to Farmingdale High School’s Don Snyder Stadium for a special presentation. The Town was there to recognize the combined efforts which helped save the life of a Nassau County high school football official who collapsed on the field in the second quarter of a game on Saturday, March 20, between Farmingdale High School and East Meadow High School. Supervisor Saladino presented citations to those whose lifesaving actions were instrumental in rescuing a beloved referee, Phil LoNigro, a 59-year-old retired corrections officer who graduated Farmingdale High School in 1980 and also serves as a volunteer medic with the Farmingdale Fire Department. Receiving the Town of Oyster Bay’s highest honor was: Farmingdale High School Trainer Phil Fandale, East Meadow High School Trainer Dan DeSimone, Farmingdale High School Team Doctor Matthew Heller, and Parent/Nurse Lisa Schwartz. These four incredible individuals responded quickly, joined in assessing the patient, began chest compressions, and successfully used the AED/Defibrillator to shock the patient back to life! The official, who was quickly transported to the hospital by the South Farmingdale Fire Department, was soon praising those who saved his life! It is a fantastic story! Congratulations to all of the incredible recipients, and thank you to Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino and his colleagues in Town government for recognizing these extraordinary lifesaving actions.
Farmingdale Alumnae Fortuitous Encounter: Quick-Thinking Athletic Trainers Save Official at Football Game
There are times when our abilities are tested, and the education we were afforded throughout our academic careers is put to good use. This past Saturday, during the Farmingdale versus East Meadow varsity football game, Nassau County high school football official Phil LoNigro collapsed during the second quarter of the game. Thanks to the training and quick-thinking of the athletic trainers also on the field that day, what could have been an unbelievably tragic event emerged as one of inspiration and hope.
“It was a team effort, said Farmingdale athletic trainer Phil Fandale. Dan was doing chest compressions, and I got the AED. From the time he went down until we got him back with the AED was less than a minute and a half. It was a whirlwind.”
On that seemingly ordinary Saturday morning, Mr. LoNigro’s heart stopped beating. Farmingdale athletic trainer and alumni Phil Fandale, and East Meadow athletic trainer, Dan DeSimone, did not allow the situation to get the better of them. Instead, they used the training and resources at their fingertips and saved Mr. LoNigro’s life. Mr. DeSimone was first on the scene and began chest compressions right away. Mr. Fandale was quick to join Mr. DeSimone on the field, employing the use of a defibrillator to provide the lifesaving shock to Mr. LoNigro, who laid unconscious and unresponsive on the field. The duo’s collaborative efforts were integral in this heroic moment. What makes this story even more incredible is the fact that Mr. LoNigro is also one of Farmingdale’s own, as a graduate of the Class of 1980.
“It is moments such as these that I am reminded by the community we continuously build upon in the halls and classrooms of our schools, said Superintendent Paul Defendini. “The odds of two Farmingdale graduates crossing paths is not so far-fetched, but the chances of one saving the other’s life? Some may call it a coincidence. I am inclined to call it a miracle.”
At this time, Phil LoNigro is still in the hospital having tests run but is doing well.
NEWSDAY: Football official saved with defibrillator after collapse at Farmingdale game
ABC NEWS 7: Long Island athletic trainers bring referee back to life after game collapse
CBS: Quick-Thinking Athletic Trainers Save Official Who Suffered Cardiac Arrest During High School Football Game
For more information about the Farmingdale Union Free School District, please visit the district’s website at https://www.farmingdaleschools.org and like our Facebook page: @FarmingdaleSchoolDistrict.