BOSTON, MA — When off duty fire fighter Joe Manganaro boarded a cross-country flight this summer he never expected to save someone’s life. But that’s just what happened, and this week the Boston Celtics honored Manganaro of South Boston as a “Hero Among Us,” for his quick thinking.
Manganaro, a Stoughton firefighter and paramedic who was just recently promoted to Sergeant in the Marines Corp Reserves, was on his way to California to for a U.S. Marine Corps training, aboard an American Airlines flight when it became apparent another passenger needed serious medical attention.
The fight attendants asked if there was a doctor over the intercom but when no one responded, th 25-year-old rookie firefighter stepped up.
A man on the flight appeared to be having a heart attack — 30,000 feet in the air.
Using medical supplies on the plane, he inserted an IV. The plane made an emergency landing in Washington D.C. Once on the ground, the man was rushed to the hospital and has since made a full recovery.
For his quick thinking and lifesaving actions, Manganaro will be honored as a “Celtics Hero Among Us!” Oct. 22, when the Celtics face off against the Orlando Magic.
Boston Celtics started the Heroes Among Us program in 1997 and since then it has recognized outstanding individuals who have made exceptional and lasting contributions to their communities. The award is presented at every Celtics home game and pays tribute to the heroic achievements of these outstanding citizens.
Chiefsaid the firefighter was only in the department for a couple of months before this happened.
“He stepped up which was awesome. We’re very proud of him. He stayed with the patient and kept him calm until he got medical treatment and that’s exactly what he’s trained to do,” said Laracy.
Laracy described Manganaro as a humble man, saying the chief only heard about the event because of Manganaro was recognized through the Marines. The new firefighter was then asked to be the keynote speaker at the Massachusetts Fire Academy where he was also recognized.
Although medical emergencies on flights are about 1 in 600 chances, a study of medical emergencies on five major airlines over a nearly three-year period showed that of the 12,000 passengers who experienced some form of medical emergency during a flight, 38 experienced a cardiac arrest, according to the most recent data in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Know someone making a difference in your town? Email us a little about them and how they’re making a difference and we may profile them. Jenna.Fisher@Patch.com
((Have you signed up for the daily free Boston Patch newsletter yet? You should probably get on that. ))
Photo courtesy Boston Celtics. Since its establishment in 1997 by the Boston Celtics, The Heroes Among Us program has recognized outstanding individuals who have made exceptional and lasting contributions to their communities. The award is presented at every Celtics home game and pays tribute to the heroic achievements of these outstanding citizens.