By: Sharon Aron Baron
Sometimes, you don’t have to be on duty when duty calls as Tamarac Firefighter Daniel Mariano discovered when a man needed life-saving resuscitation at his gym.
Mariano, a 27 year veteran with Tamarac Fire Rescue was about to play basketball at the Rock Creek Community Center with Cooper City Commissioner Jeff Green, when Green informed him that a man around his early 60‘s had just collapsed inside the gym. At first Mariano thought the man had hurt himself, but quickly checked him out and realized that he didn’t have a pulse. He started CPR and when that didn’t work, he asked for the gym’s automated external defibrillator (AED) and delivered two shocks. Using the supplied mask, he began ventilating him. Breathing and compressions were performed until Fire Rescue arrived. By then, they were able to find a pulse, and he was transported to Memorial West Hospital.
“He was in a coma for a while but now he’s back out and walks,” says Mariano.
Luckily, Mariano was at the right place at the right time, which was good for the man because Mariano said he almost didn’t work out that day.
In what could have been fate, Mariano recalls that he remembered seeing the man at the gym for over 20 years and the man had never spoke to him once during that time.
He never even said hello, but for some reason when I came to the gym that day, the man said hello to me. – said Daniel Mariano.
A resident of Plantation, Mariano lives with his wife Shari. They have a son, 20, who is his hero and is currently serving in Afghanistan. They have a daughter, 14, who he proudly boasts that she just lettered in softball at South Plantation High School.
The City of Tamarac, led by Mayor Beth Talabisco presented a proclamation commending firefighter Mariano at the city commission meeting on Wednesday evening. Requested by Fire Chief Mike Burton, this honor was befitting a hero who used his skills to save the life of someone else while off-duty.
What about the man at the gym. Does the man ever say hello to him now that he has saved his life?
“He says ‘hi’ now and shakes my hand,” said Mariano.