Man saved by EMT as baby becomes first responder

Joseph Bitetto reunited with Howard Blanck, who saved him as a baby, during FDNY’s EMS graduation ceremony

By EMS1 Staff

NEW YORK — A man who was saved by an EMT when he was born a premature baby reunited with him as he graduated from the EMS academy himself.

NY Post reported that Joseph Bitetto reunited with EMT-turned NYPD detective Howard Blanck 22 years later as he walked across the stage during FDNY’s EMS graduation.

Bitetto’s mom suffered a ruptured placenta in 1996 when she was just seven months into her pregnancy.

“She was in the bathroom and all of a sudden, I heard her screaming ‘Oh my God! Oh my God! What’s happening to me?’” Bitetto’s dad, Nick, recalled. “I really didn’t think my son was going to make it.”

Nick said he didn’t get the names of the first responders who saved his child.

“I just always wanted to thank the EMTs for taking part in saving the life of my wife and son.”

Bitetto coincidentally decided to become an EMT when he grew up, and Nick wrote a letter to the FDNY EMS Training Academy to thank them for their service.

“For all of those you will aid in the future, just in case they do not get the chance to say thank you.”

FDNY decided to set up the surprise reunion and arranged for Blanck to meet Bitetto onstage at graduation.

“They brought me on stage and it was crazy,” an emotional Bitetto said about the reunion.

Bitetto is set to start as a new EMT soon, but he already helped delivered his first baby on a practice ride-along.


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