Seven members of the Nassau County Police Department were honored by the Nassau County Police Benevolent Association and Nassau County Legislature last Wednesday, Sept. 26, for their collective acts of heroism in saving the life of a five-year-old boy after a drowning incident at his Hicksville home.
Nassau County police officers Kenneth Kraemer, Thomas Rilling, Brendan Ward, Joseph Morris and Justin Rivera, along with Police Medic Stephen Kahl and Police Medic Supervisor Scott Dipino were recognized as the Legislative Top Cops of September after responding to the near-fatal accident on Aug. 16.
Five-year-old David Kean’s smile stretched from ear to ear as the team of policemen who saved his life accepted their certificates.
Only a month earlier, officers had arrived at the scene where an unconscious Kean had been pulled from his family’s pool. First responders Kraemer and Rilling immediately began CPR. While being transported to Nassau University Medical Center, medics suctioned Kean’s lungs, intubated him and continued to perform CPR. Kean had begun breathing on his own by the time the ambulance arrived at the hospital, and has since made a full recovery.
“He’s fantastic,” said Police Benevolent Association President James McDermott in regard to Kean. “He’s here and he’s alive and we’re so happy. I want to thank my cops and everybody who was involved in this. I’m so proud of everybody.”
Second Precinct Officer Brendan Ward spoke on behalf of the honorees.
“A lot of training really kicks in when we get calls like this, and it’s a true team effort. We’re very thankful that David’s doing so well and everything worked out how it did,” Ward said.
The ceremony also included remarks from Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder and Nassau County Legislature Presiding Officer Richard Nicollelo, both of whom expressed gratitude for the officers’ evidently successful training and ability to work efficiently as a team. Nicollelo emphasized that there is nothing more important in life than having the opportunity to save the life of a child.
Several legislators also provided their own congratulations to the award recipients, including District 17 Legislator Rose Marie Walker, a Hicksville resident herself.
“I’m in the Ladies Auxiliary in Hicksville. When the call came over my radio and the address came on and I knew whose home it was, I wanted to rush there myself,” said Walker. “I can’t tell you what it means to me that all of you made sure that David was here today with us. God bless you all.”
When asked how it felt to see the men who saved her son’s life publicly honored by the county legislature, Heather Kean conveyed her appreciation, noting that things may have gone differently if the team of policemen had not acted so quickly.
“We’re so thankful for what they did, and that they have the training that they do,” said Heather. “They were there right away. Not even three minutes, and they were there and helping and I’m just grateful every day that [David] is around and as happy as he is.”
Ryder took great pride in seeing a number of his policemen receive the prestigious award, and spoke highly of all of the recipients.
He said, “there are outstanding cops in this police department, outstanding police medics, and we can’t do it without the support we get from the legislators.”