Less than a week after the death of a Larchmont baby girl, a Larchmont police officer revived an infant boy who had stopped breathing.
Citing the sensitive nature, Larchmont police are releasing few details on the earlier incident. They had responded around 7 am on December 20th to a call for aid involving a seven-week-old girl. The infant was later pronounced dead. Following the requisite police investigation, the death was ruled accidental.
A Christmas morning incident had a much happier ending.
At around 8 am on December 25, the Larchmont police received a frantic call from a local family seeking emergency aid for their two-week-old infant who had stopped breathing. Within minutes Officer Scott Schnall and Sergeant Ronald Knudsen were on the scene. Trained for this kind of an emergency, Officer Schnall quickly grabbed the child, flipped him onto his forearm, administered a series of back blows, then flipped the child back again creating an exchange of air. The baby’s eyes opened and he began to cry.
Just at that moment the fire department and ambulance arrived. The infant was whisked to the Sound Shore Medical Center for further evaluation. He is expected to be fine.
“It’s certainly a wonderful story and a great effort by everybody involved,” said Chief John Poleway, who described the Christmas day event at the January 11 meeting of the Larchmont Village Board. “We particularly commend the efforts of Officer Schnall.”
Officer Schnall has been on the Larchmont force for 15 years.
Consolidation of Services Questioned
Mayor Liz Feld noted that Larchmont has a police force that can be at a resident’s door within minutes. “That’s due to our size but also due to how you run the department,” she said to Chief Poleway. She indicated that these are things that need to be considered as the community discusses the dollars and cents of combining services with neighboring municipalities.
Chief Poleway concluded, “I’d certainly temper my talk of consolidation when considering the emergency services.”
Trustee Richard Ward raised further doubts about consolidation.
He said he had looked at potential savings as estimated in a state-wide study of consolidation by New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. The comptroller’s report said savings could total $765 million. Dividing that amount by the number of households in New York, Mr. Ward calculated the savings as $94 a year per family.
“Do we really want to give up a critical service like this through consolidation for $94 per year?” asked Mr. Ward.
Where’s the Consolidation Report?
Consolidation of local government services – which could include police, fire, public works or other departments - has been under investigation since July by a tri-municipal task force for Larchmont Village, Mamaroneck Village and Mamaroneck Town. A report is likely by February or March, according to Bill Dentzer, chair of the committee. (See: VOL Taps New & Former Trustee for Consolidation Group.)
There had been speculation that the report would be ready by the end of 2009, but that did not come from his group, stressed Mr. Dentzer this week when asked for clarification by the Gazette.
The group has kept its deliberations strictly private. Although there is an administrator and trustee from each municipality on the committee, they have been asked not to discuss their process or findings with colleagues outside of the committee.
Mr. Dentzer was similarly careful not to discuss preliminary findings, declining even to say who the committee had consulted as it conducted its research.
However, he did explain, “What we’ve tried to do is work by the Socratic method: What do you think about this? What do you see is a problem? Why is it a problem? And what would you do?