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by Vinny Reda (December 13, 2006)

New Five Quad Member Already a Life Saver

Robert Wasp

Robert Wasp beside a Five Quad Ambulance

As a freshman trying to join Five Quad Ambulance Service, Rob Wasp of North Salem could be excused for returning from Veterans Day weekend with a request to be waived from the member-in-training course each prospective Five Quad candidate must complete in their first semester.

That is because on the previous Friday night, while on call with the North Salem Volunteer Ambulance Corps, he saved the life of 71-year-old Ann Santangelo, who was being viciously attacked by a 100-pound pit bull.

Back on campus, however, Wasp told only his roommate and a few other friends in Montauk Hall of the incident. He went on to become a full-fledged member of all-student-volunteer Five Quad a week ago, along with 21 other students.

"That the woman is doing okay is what's important to me," said Wasp, 18, who received his emergency medical technician (EMT) certification in June and has been a member of the Croton Falls Volunteer Fire Department for two and a half years. "I spoke to her son right before Thanksgiving and he told me she had to undergo five hours of surgery but she was scheduled to be home for the holiday. There's an event in town next week where I hope I'll see her."

Wasp pulled off his remarkable rescue after being the first to respond to a 9-1-1 call at 4:15 p.m. on Nov. 10. Arriving at Mrs. Santangelo's son's home, he found her being attacked by her son's dog. Seeing a wrench on the floor, he picked it up and struck the pit bull on the head, causing it to release its grip. Pulling the woman to safety, he proceeded to tend to numerous wounds on her body.

The dog was later killed by state troopers. Mrs. Santangelo was transported by helicopter to Westchester Medical Center.

Captain Michael Kopy of the State Police barracks in nearby Somers, told the local Journal News newspaper that Wasp's actions "prevented this from being a far more serious event than it was. We were fortunate to have someone in the area who could take quick and decisive action. He certainly put himself in danger."

Wasp said he knows the risks and accepts them. "The fact I could pull the dog off of her and treat her — that's what my job is," he said.

Friends and neighbors in North Salem thought it far more than that. "They were calling the house all the time. It was nice to get back to the peace and quiet here at school."


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