Meet Tamarac’s “Firefighter of the Year”


Firefighter/EMT Dan Mariano has been named Tamarac’s 2013 Firefighter of the Year.  Pictured with him are Commissioner Pam Bushnell, Vice Mayor Harry Dressler, Commissioners Diane Glasser and Patte Atkins-Grad, City Manager Michael Cernech, and Fire Chief Mike Burton – photo courtesy City of Tamarac.

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.

Dan Mariano (second) Receives his Proclamation back in May. Next to him is Tamarac Fire Operations Chief Percy Sayles along with Commissioner Pam Bushnell, Mayor Beth Talabisco, Vice Mayor Diane Glasser and Former Commissioner Michelle Gomez

Dan Mariano (second) Receives his Proclamation back in May. Next to him are Tamarac Fire Operations Chief Percy Sayles, Commissioner Pam Bushnell, Mayor Beth Talabisco, Vice Mayor Diane Glasser, and Former Commissioner Michelle Gomez.

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 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.  They were able to find a pulse by then, 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 spoken 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. As 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.

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Sharon Aron Baron
Sharon Aron Baron
Sharon Aron Baron is the Editor of Talk Media and Tamarac Talk, Coral Springs Talk, and Parkland Talk. Tamarac Talk was created in 2011 to provide News for the residents of Tamarac and is the #1 News Source for Residents.
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