Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Little Falls gets new police chief

LITTLE FALLS –  The city of Little Falls has a new chief of police, as Michael Masi was appointed to the position Monday night.

The Little Falls Police & Fire Board unanimously voted in favor of granting Masi a 26-week probationary appointment as the city’s police chief.

Mayor Bob Peters said that after the probationary period is completed, Masi’s appointment will become permanent, if the board so chooses.

Masi first came to the Little Falls Police Department in 1992, and attained the rank of sergeant in 1997.

He was appointed to serve as the department’s assistant chief of police in 2004.

“I believe that because of his work ethic, devotion and dedication to the police department the board made the right decision,” said Peters. “I am confident that Michael will be able to run the department, and he brings with him some good ideas and ideas on how to save the city money.”

One couple spoke out against Peters' appointment. The Diodatis filed suit against the city, the police department and three of its officers, including Masi, in 2004.   Donna Diodati claimed her civil rights were violated as a result of how she was treated in a 2003 incident involving her grandson. The defendants were exonerated in court.

“I ask that the board consider all of the factors before making a decision,” said Diodati. “The chief of police is a critical appointment, and one that reflects upon the entire city. We do not want someone in this position who will fly off the handle, but rather someone who is rational.”

The board cited Masi’s professionalism and record of service to the city as factors in naming him police chief.

“I am sure he will continue to do a good job for us,” said Police & Fire Board member Mark Feane.

Oswego school chief named superintendent in Mass.

OSWEGO – Superintendent of Oswego Schools, David Fischer, was named to the top spot in the Bellingham, Mass. School district during Tuesday’s board meeting in Bellingham. Fischer was in Massachusetts to accept the position.

Teacher is being called a hero

IRONDEQUOIT – Victor Ingrassia’s first attempt at using CPR in a real-life situation was a good one. He’s being credited with saving the life of a teen who nearly drowned Sunday afternoon.

Ingrassia, of Irondequoit, was walking near the pier on Irondequoit Bay by Seabreeze Amusement Park around 4:30 p.m. with his wife and daughter. He was standing by the outlet bridge when he heard a woman shouting for help.

“I quickly ran down to see where she was and she said there was somebody drowning down at the end of the bridge there,” Ingrassia, 40, said.

He said the teen was bobbing in the water and he knew he was in trouble. As he got closer, Ingrassia noticed a second person in the water. That person was trying to pull the teen out, he said.

“As he turned him over, I noticed that he was unconscious. He didn’t look too good and I knew that I needed to get to him pretty quick,” Ingrassia said.

 Ingrassia jumped in, helped carry the teen out, and started CPR.

“Initially he was not breathing. His lips were very blue. His eyes had rolled back and his mouth was open,” he said. It didn’t look good.

He kept up the compressions and the boy started to choke and cough — a good sign, he said. He moved the victim onto his side so water would drain from his lungs.

Within 10 minutes, paramedics had arrived and took over. Because the area is full of rocks, it was difficult to get the victim out of the area, Ingrassia said. He helped the paramedics get the victim onto the backboard. By then, he was conscious, smiling, and “very thankful,” Ingrassia said.

Joshua Monroe, 17, of Rochester, was transported to Strong Hospital by volunteers from Irondequoit’s Sea Breeze Fire Department, Helfer said.

Ingrassia, a physical education teacher at Pine Brook Elementary School in Greece, said he’s required to have first aid and CPR training. He’s also a certified lifeguard. He’s never used his training before, but says he’ll be really prepared if he has to again after Sunday’s events.

The results were even more meaningful, Ingrassia said, because two others drowned on Sunday. A man died in the Erie Canal in Spencerport and a boy died in Glenwood Lake in Medina, N.Y.