Freehold Borough police officers honored for saving teenager’s life


FREEHOLD – Four officers who serve in the Freehold Borough Police Department have been recognized for saving the life of a 14-year-old boy.

Sgt. John Reiff, Patrolman Victor Segoviano, Patrolman Aaron Owens and Patrolman Steven Ambrosino each received a recognition citation during the Borough Council’s May 3 meeting. The officers performed life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on the teenager in October.

Lt. Richard Ciampa described the event, which began when police received a call at 11:15 p.m. about an unresponsive individual. The officers were told the person was not awake, was not breathing, was getting cold and appeared discolored.

When the officers learned the individual in need of assistance was 14 years old, “That’s where it changes for us,” Ciampa said.

“That’s where we go from zero to 60 really quick because a lot of us have kids and anytime it involves children, you move. That’s when the hair on your neck stands up,” he said.

The lieutenant described how the four officers arrived at the child’s residence in less than a minute and had to climb up three flights of damp stairs while carrying the equipment they would need at the scene.

Upon entering the residence, the officers found the teenager showing no signs of life. The boy’s family members were huddled around him.

“There is not time to think, there is not time to game-plan,” Ciampa said. “There is time for action. That action involves CPR. I don’t know if anyone has seen CPR, but it’s not exactly pretty. There is a lot of physical toll being exerted from the officer on the (person who needs help).

“Now you are trying to manage a scene with a child to save his life and you have a family there. Just imagine. Panic. Confusion. They are scared. It’s a difficult situation and you have to manage the entire scene.

“You have to manage the patient, you have to manage the people on the scene because naturally, they are close to their loved one. You have to make sure everything is under control,” Ciampa said.

Reiff, Segoviano, Owens and Ambrosino performed life-saving measures on the teenager and Ciampa said the boy did not have a history of drug use or a known medical condition.

Emergency medical services responders also participated in the life-saving measures and after about 30 minutes the teenager began to show signs of life.

The police officers escorted the ambulance that transported the boy to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune. He was subsequently transferred to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and made a full recovery, according to Ciampa.

“If it wasn’t for the quick-thinking of our officers and that natural ability to take control of a scene, this may not have been possible. I think it’s outstanding we are able to see (the teenager) today and everyone is healthy,” the lieutenant said.