Herald Neighbors

First responders honored for heroic rescue in Lynbrook


Two Lynbrook firefighters and EMTs, three Lynbrook police officers and a Baldwin firefighter were honored at Lynbrook Fire Department Headquarters on Jan. 5 for saving a motorist’s life after an accident on Nov. 27.

Mayor Alan Beach presented Exceptional Service Awards to the six first responders during a ceremony alongside State Sen. Todd Kaminsky and Assemblywoman Judy Griffin. The honorees included Lynbrook Fire Department EMTs Tracey Burke Labarbara and Katie DuBose, Lynbrook police officers Peter Festa, Derek Buonora, and Jon Stawinski and Baldwin Fire Department Captain James Martinez.

On Nov. 27, an unidentified female driver slammed her vehicle into the back of a truck stopped at a traffic light on Sunrise Highway in Lynbrook. Martinez was passing in the opposite direction at the time. He turned around, parked his vehicle to block the traffic lane, and ran toward the victim. Martinez and another unidentified bystander were able to pull the unconscious woman out through a partially crushed door while the vehicle was on fire. Stawinski, Buonora and Festa helped carry the woman away from the burning car.  The driver was then stabilized by Burke, a former LFD Medical Company captain, and DuBoise.  

The woman was transported to Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital by a Northwell Health ambulance, and Lynbrook firefighters extinguished the blaze. Although the woman had multiple trauma injuries and was placed in the intensive care unit, she survived thanks to the combined efforts of the first responders.