CORTLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – It has been one week since Cortland police officer Nicholas Mancini suffered a heart attack on the job, leading to an accident in the cruiser. Now, one of three good Samaritans credited with saving his life speaks out about that day.
“It’s a great feeling to be able to help somebody when they need it,” says Mark Carnes.
Carnes stopped to pick up dinner for his family last Saturday. He was walking out of Subway just moments before Mancini crashed his cruiser across the street.
“I noticed that the police car was over in the weeds over there and I asked if they needed help,” Carnes says.
It was just sheer coincidence, but Carnes says he was in the right place at the right time.
“I noticed that he wasn’t breathing, so I went back on my training,” he says.
Carnes has spent 20 years as a volunteer firefighter. He is also an EMT.
He started chest compressions on Mancini, which police chief David Morris says was instrumental in saving the officer’s life.
“I cannot tell you how many times I’ve done CPR in the past as a firefighter and an EMT, but this is the first time that I have heard that has made almost a full recovery so far,” says Carnes.
Carnes says he just did what he was trained to do and hopes someone would do the same for him.
“I can sleep at night knowing that I did everything that I could to make sure that person had a chance to survive,” he says.
Carnes says he hopes more people will become trained in CPR because you never know who will need your help.
“Hopefully you never have to use it, but it could be one of your loved ones. It could just be someone passing on the street. Anyone can help.”
Cortland police say Mancini is improving every day.
After people were wondering how to send their well-wishes to Mancini, two Cortland women came up with the idea for drop bags.
The bags are located at Coopers Cycle and Fitness, Cortland City Hall, Sparkle and Dunkin’ Donuts.
People can drop off cards for Mancini while he recovers from the heart attack at these locations.
“I think we all felt the drive to give back, especially so someone who serves our community every single day as part of his job and this is a way to spread some kindness and I think that’s important to remember,” said Ashleigh Musick from Cortland.
The bags will be at the four locations until Tuesday.