Hometown Heroes: Officers from Great Barrington save a young man’s life

Berkshire County

(WWLP) – The American Red Cross of Central and Western Massachusetts is holding their 19th annual heroes celebration on Thursday.

Two first responders are being honored as hometown heroes.

In the early morning hours of September 21, 2020 two Great Barrington police officers worked together to save a young man trapped in a car that was wrapped around a tree.

“I saw a person come out of the woods just waving his arms frantically. So right away I knew something was up. I didn’t see a car at first so I really wasn’t sure what was going on. I went up to the vehicle, I could see the passenger was trapped, unconscious, not breathing well at all. His head was tilted down and he had vomit all over him. I tilted his head back and opened the airways as best I could,” said Officer Lupiani.

Officer Lupiani also called for back up and Chief Paul Storti arrived moments later realizing he knew the two young men involved.

“That’s probably one of the toughest things we have to do, working in a small town is when we come across a situation or have to deal with an incident that involves people that you know especially when it’s youth. Both subjects in this situation, the driver and the occupant, I coached in soccer at the high school on the high school level. I recognized the first person, the operator who was out of the car immediately and when I got into the vehicle I realized I knew the second person also. He was trapped in the vehicle so the only thing we could do at that point was to maintain his airway as best I could,” said Chief Storti.

“It’s hard to put words on it. It’s 100 percent a different feeling than anything else, when you have somebody’s life in your hands because if I wasn’t on that road who knows what would have happened in the first place. The driver lost his cell phone in the crash so he wasn’t able to call for help,” said Officer Lupiani.

But the officers were able to call for help from the town fire department, the southern Berkshire ambulance squad and a life flight helicopter.

A young man’s life was saved that night but Chief Storti and Officer Lupiani are humble hometown heroes who insist it was team work that was the difference between life and death.

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“I think it was just Officer Lupiani coming onto the scene, showing up and helping . The quick response of the fire department and the ambulance personnel and the medics from the helicopter team. It’s a group effort and that’s what we train and that’s what we strive to do and it happened to work out really well that evening. That’s what this community is about and that’s what is exciting about this profession,” said Chief Storti.

Talk about being in the right place at the right time.

Watch the 19th annual Red Cross Hometown Heroes celebration on 22News Thursday at 11 a.m.

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