Three residents, two police officers presented with life-saving awards

Nicholas Mastrocinque’s life saved by the five
May 26, 2023

A tragedy was recently avoided during a traditionally joyous occasion thanks to the quick thinking and fast acting of three Sussex County residents and two Lewes police officers.

Family and friends of Nicholas Mastrocinque were in attendance at the May 22 mayor and city council meeting for a special ceremony.

Mastrocinque suffered a heart attack while running in the May 6 Seashore Classic Half Marathon. His family was noticeably emotional as Chief Thomas Spell told the story of how five people jumped into action.

The Tyson family was the first to notice Mastrocinque. Dr. Jack Tyson, who works for Beebe Healthcare, and his wife Debbie were watching the race when they found the runner lying on the ground unconscious at the intersection of E. Market Street and Massachusetts Avenue.  

They rushed to Mastrocinque and immediately began providing CPR after discovering he did not have a pulse and witnessed agonal-type breathing. Hunter McFall, trained in CPR, was participating in the race when he noticed the Tysons rendering care. He immediately stopped running to provide aid. 

Within a minute, officer Nick Yatsko arrived and assisted in performing CPR. Following several rounds of chest compressions by all four, officer Kyle Pankok got to the scene with his automated external defibrillator. Yatsko cut Mastrocinque’s shirt off as Pankok applied the defibrillator. There was no pulse. Pankok administered a shock. A second passed, and the heart began to beat again. 

All five people rendering aid remained on the scene until Mastrocinque was transported to Beebe. Mastrocinque was in critical, but stable condition. Following Spell’s explanation of events, Mastrocinque took time to thank each person who helped saved his life, first with a speech, then with handshakes and hugs as the awards were presented. His family members in the audience showed a tremendous amount of gratitude toward the heroic residents and officers.

The Tysons, McFall, Yatsko and Pankok were each presented with the Lewes Police Department Distinguished Community Award. Each received an official commendation from the department, and the two officers were granted an additional eight hours of paid time off.

Members of the public who notice someone in distress but are not trained and certified in life-saving measures should immediately call 911 before attempting to render aid. Officials suggest vocalizing the need for someone certified to assist in aid, but to allow professionals and those qualified to assist or deliver instructions.


Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter