A baby boy in Orange County is healthy today thanks to the intervention of an Orange County Unit member. Courtney Starace, a rookie 911 dispatcher who first came on the job last August, was the steady voice on the other end of the phone line at the county Emergency Services Center when Warwick resident Samantha Burke called for help.

She’d realized her infant son, Andrew, wasn’t breathing. While dispatching an ambulance, Starace calmly instructed Burke on how to perform CPR. By the time the ambulance arrived, baby Andrew was breathing.

He was hospitalized for three days for what was determined to be a respiratory infection. Starace, a nine-year emergency medical technician before becoming a 911 dispatcher, got the chance to meet Andrew and his parents and received a standing ovation when recognized during County Executive Steve Neuhaus’ State of the County speech. “It was very special for me to be able to meet the Burke family and hold the baby,” Starace said.

“It was a very heartwarming moment that I will never forget. I’m happy I could help. I did what I had to do during the 911 call with Mrs. Burke, but she also did a great job. She deserves a lot of credit, too.”

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Jessica Ladlee

Jessica Ladlee is the communications specialist for CSEA's Southern Region. A graduate of Boston University, Ladlee is an award-winning journalist who worked as a newspaper editor before joining the CSEA communications team in 2004. She is passionate about the opportunities unions provide for people to join the middle class, something her grandmother did as a Rockland County CSEA member over 50 years ago.

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