Michael Banach (Facilities Management), Joshua Simons (CRREO), and Scott Schulte (Environmental Health & Safety) had no idea when they came to work on Feb. 27 that they would be at the heart of helping someone in need. But their training in first aid and as emergency medical technicians made all the difference for longtime college volunteer Mary Eileen Osowski, who was struck and injured by a vehicle while walking on campus.
Simons and Banach were at the scene and aided the victim until University Police Department (UPD) officers and paramedics arrived. Schulte, who is second assistant chief with the New Paltz Fire Department, played a role in arranging the helicopter that transported Osowski to Westchester Medical Center. He helped to identify the landing zone for the helicopter and escorted the ambulance to it.
“It wasn’t at all what I was expecting that morning. I heard a noise and knew something wasn’t right. I ran toward it and did what needed to be done,” said Simons, who is trained to administer first aid. “I was quite shaken,” he added. “It really makes you appreciate the delicate balance of things.”
“It’s a good feeling to know, when you go home at the end of the day, that you’ve made a difference,” said UPD Chief David Dugatkin. “The people that helped out that day—the police officers and the civilians—can rest assured that they made a difference.”
In 2008 the college paid for Banach’s EMT training. He is also a lieutenant with the Accord Fire Department. Since 2008, he has responded to more than 50 calls on the campus grounds. One time he helped revive an employee who went into respiratory arrest while at work and outside of work he has delivered newborn babies.
President Donald P. Christian notified the campus community of the accident. “I’m proud to know that we have such selfless individuals in our campus community willing to take action to help others,” he said.
Long-time Dorsky Museum volunteer Mary Eileen Osowski, the victim of the accident, has returned home and is recovering. The driver, identified as a New Paltz student, was issued a citation by UPD at the time of the accident.