A summer evening of volleyball at Cedar Beach nearly ended in tragedy for one player who began to experience discomfort and collapsed one Wednesday night in August.

Now Peter Detroll is crediting two Babylon Town employees with giving him the chance to walk his daughter down the aisle at her recent wedding.

“These are my guardian angels,” Detroll said in the hallway outside of the Town Board meeting room on Wednesday. It was during that meeting that the seasonal employees, Amanda Illig and Rachel D’Amato, were each presented with the Town of Babylon Heroism Award, the highest honor the town offers.

Their quick thinking saved Detroll’s life when they retrieved the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) the knew to be located in the Cedar Beach facility’s office.

“I think I speak for everyone here at the Town of Babylon when I say how relieved we are that Peter survived this ordeal, and how proud we are of Rachel and Amanda for saving his life,” said Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer. “Our parks department does an amazing job of hiring special individuals to work at our facilities in the summer and this is a testament to that.”

Detroll was able to publicly thank Illig and D’Amato on Wednesday in Town Hall.

After he had collapsed that day, another visitor began to care for Detroll and called out for a defibrillator, according to the town. That’s when Illig and D’Amato sprang into action and sprinted to retrieve the device.

The visitor used the device on Detroll before emergency services arrived and transported him to a local hospital. The medical professionals who cared for Detroll predicted he would not have survived the ordeal if the AED was not used on him, according to the town.

“This story is a perfect example of why we keep fully-functioning AEDs at all of our beach and pool facilities,” said Deputy Town Supervisor Antonio Martinez, who also serves as chairman of the Parks and Recreation Committee. “We strive to provide the safest possible environment for our visitors, and Amanda and Rachel’s actions show that our staff will go above-and-beyond to ensure that.

Top (L-R): Amanda Illig and Rachel D’Amato are all smiles during this week’s award presentation in the Town Board meeting room. (courtesy photo)

Peter Detroll (pictured), along with Celeste Kusmierski, the town’s parks commissioner, says he wouldn’t be able to walk his daughter down the aisle at her recent wedding without the quick-thinking town workers. (courtesy)