LaManna started working at Drew when he was 20 and says he can’t imagine working anywhere else. Photos by Lynne DeLade

In his time as a public safety officer, Lt. Fabio LaManna has responded to car accidents, provided safe escort for students and given first aid at medical emergencies.

But his most heroic moment at Drew may be the morning when he saved the life of an unconscious contractor last spring at the Hall of Sciences.

LaManna, a certified EMT, found the worker pale and gasping for breath. When the man’s heart stopped, LaManna began CPR and with the help of Officer Lusian Bozo, shocked the man’s heart with a defibrillator multiple times. The worker had a faint pulse when paramedics took him to the hospital minutes later.

That man was 50-year-old Glen Mercado of Iselin, N.J., who said he is still recovering from his brush with death. Mercado, who is married with two children, says he remembers falling and waking up later in the hospital. “I’m very grateful for them,” he says of the Drew officers. “They did a really good job.”

LaManna says he was glad to be on hand to help. “It felt good,” he says. “I was happy for him.”

LaManna, 35, started at Drew in 1999 as a dispatcher, attended the Bergen County Police Academy and worked his way up to become operations lieutenant. He piloted the idea of a police substation at the Tolley-Brown Circle and said there’s a greater emphasis on campus safety now at Drew.

He says he can’t imagine working anywhere else, “I like the environment and the style of the campus,” says LaManna. “It’s a community, family-oriented. Everybody is on a first-name basis.”

Now a married father of three, LaManna has received numerous accolades over the years, including awards for good conduct, exceptional duty and life saving.

“It has been a privilege working with Lt. Fabio LaManna,” says Drew Public Safety Chief Robert Lucid. “He is the heart and soul of the department. I am not surprised that the College and University Public Safety Association recognized him for his lifesaving efforts because it’s what we have come to expect from him.”

Mercado says he won’t soon forget LaManna’s actions. “Thanks for saving my life,” he says. “God gave me a second life, I might as well make the most of it.”—Elizabeth Moore