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“The Importance of CPR”

Milford Police Officer Robbie Tusino

Milford Police Officer Robbie Tusino feels he was just doing his job when he recently saved the life of a 14 month-old baby who had stopped breathing. "It's all part of the job. Happy to do it," the officer said.

The Board of Selectmen now plans to honor him, as well as Public Safety Dispatchers Kim St. Amant and Rebecka LaPierre, for their actions earlier this month.

Tusino is quick to pass off the baby's survival as "just a lot of luck," but his 20 years of experience as a paramedic certainly played a role. Rather than focus on his accomplishments, the officer would rather focus on getting more people trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) techniques.

"It highlights awareness to the importance of CPR in the field," said Tusino. "If anything, this should be a call to everybody to take some CPR and obstructive airway training."

Next month will mark Tusino's fifth year back in Milford and on the local force. He normally works from 4 p.m. to midnight and also acts as the Police Department's training officer for first responder skills.

"The fact that he has the skills to act as paramedic is a credit to the department and the citizens of the community," O'Loughlin said. He also said the incident showcased the integration of Public Safety dispatch operations and the close working relationship between the Police and Fire departments. For ore on this story, see

What Happened?

According to Police Chief Thomas O'Loughlin, the Public Safety Dispatch center received a call on 4:25 p.m. on February 10 requesting emergency services because a baby had stopped breathing.

Public Safety Dispatcher Kim St. Amant worked through a partial language barrier to obtain information needed to dispatch the Fire Rescue, AMR Ambulance and police officers as well as to provide emergency medical assistance over the telephone. Public Safety Dispatcher Rebecka LaPierre provided information to the responding emergency workers. Tusino and Officer Edward Varteresian arrived first and found the child blue in the face and unresponsive as a result of an obstructed airway.

Tusino recounted how he used the back-pat part of the Heimlich Maneuver to dislodge a piece of food – possibly an apple or bit of hot dog. He then "finger swept" the mouth to remove the piece of food and "the baby started crying." Fire Rescue personnel had arrived by then and gave the child oxygen, Tusino said.

O'Loughlin praised the officer in a written statement: "Robbie Tusino has worked miracles in the past utilizing his skills and abilities as paramedic to save people's lives. Today [February 10], he once again commendably demonstrated these skills and saved the life of a young child. Additionally, Dispatchers Kim St. Amant and Rebecka LaPierre are to be commended for their professionalism during a very stressful situation. Their actions are worthy of a commendation for they, too, resulted in this child's life being saved."

Fire Chief John Touhey added: "This is yet another example of the value of the Joint Public Safety Communications Center and the sound working relationship between the Milford Fire and Police departments."

Where Can You Learn CPR?

Milford Regional Medical Center offers variety of courses each year that teach CPR techniques.

Here is a list of some upcoming classes

listed on the hospital's website (www.milford

• Adult Heartsaver AED (May 3: $50)

• BLS for Healthcare Provider CPR

(August 3: $50)

• BLS for Healthcare Provider CPR Retraining (April 6; June 21: $40)

• CPR for Family and Friends (March 2: $30)

• Heartsaver CPR (April 4; May 31: $50)

Or contact a local private CPR instructor:

• CPR Etc. Call Sue Tetreault at 508-473-3630 or email


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