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Good News: Daring Blizzard Rescue; Local Students Shine

Some stories put a smile on your face. Here's our wrap-up from around Northern Suffolk and the East End.

As a local news organization, Patch covers stories of all kinds, from heartbreaking tragedies to nitty-gritty breakdowns of government and school district issues. But some stories are simply inspiring, often showing that at the heart of our communities is a desire to do good. Here are some of the touching headlines from the past seven days.

Lee Cirillo and her wife were out exploring the snow in a snowmobile on Nicolls Road on Feb. 9 when a man flagged them down for help.

He was a firefighter plowing part of the road so an ambulance could get through to aid a 44-year-old man who was experiencing cardiac problems while shoveling snow, and he thought perhaps Cirillo could help the patient get to the hospital.

"There was no thought in it. They asked me for help and I was there," said Cirillo, a 1995 graduate of Ward Melville High School who now owns Fitness Together in Port Jefferson and blogs for Port Jefferson Patch.

In an interview with Patch, Cirillo said she followed a trail of tracks left by emergency vehicles to Lower Sheep Pasture Rd. and Gnarled Hollow Rd. The ambulance could not get any further – but it was still another mile to get to the house, where the Setauket Fire Department rescue crew had trudged through the snow and strapped the man into a stokes basket. Cirillo said she had to make a u-turn to go back and get ropes for the rescue, which the crew then used to attach the stokes basket to the snowmobile. Cirillo steered the man back to the ambulance, which took him to Stony Brook University Hospital.

An eighth grade student from Great Hollow Middle School beat her previous best time in the 3,000 meter run, giving her the best time in New York State for her grade and garnering her all-county honors.

Jaclyn Gallery ran 10:32.39 at the State Qualifier Track Meet on Feb. 12 at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood, 21 seconds better than her previous best time. Her time got her a third place finish.

Students Meet NASA Astronaut

Students in Sue Ohlinger's class at Burr Intermediate School in Commack recently got the chance to meet former NASA astronaut Kevin Kregel.

Kregel, who is now a commercial pilot for Southwest Airlines. Through the airline's "Adopt a Pilot" program, the students were able to have Kregel come to their class and learn about flying through both the skies and space.

Former Commack Student Wins Wheelchair Basketball Title

St. Anthony’s senior Chris Bacon Jr., who attended Commack High School before transferring to St. Anthony's, helped bring a National Wheelchair Basketball Association Junior Eastern Conference championship home to Long Island.

duckduckgoose February 23, 2013 at 06:58 PM
Thank you to all who helped during the blizzard, especially Lee Cirillo, the Setauket FD, and all the other volunteer firefighters on Long Island.
lara buscatelli February 23, 2013 at 08:01 PM
You gals and guys are awesome, heroic, and truly inspirational.
hugh jackman February 25, 2013 at 03:32 AM
Pulling someone on a stoke basket a mile! God bless those guys you have no idea how hard that is

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