David Dawley is a 62-year-old resident of Kalorama Court in Palm Coast. On Monday, he bought a new lawnmower and went to work cutting the grass. He then relaxed on the couch and watched some television, had dinner with his wife, Cynthia Dawley, and the two later turned in for the night.
After midnight, Cynthia heard loud gasping sounds. At first she thought it was the dog, according to a Flagler County Sheriff’s incident report–then realized it was David. She went to his aid, but he did not respond to her. She called 911.
Deputy Anthony Bifano, 32, who’s been with the Sheriff’s Office just since June 4 and is still in training, responded to the Kalorama Court house minutes before 1 a.m.
“Bifano rushed into the bedroom and saw David laying there on the bed,” the incident report states. “David had agonal breathing and was blue to the face. Deputy Bifano immediately moved David to the floor and began chest compressions.”
Deputies in training are assigned a Field Training Officer, or FTO, who in this case is Jacob West. As Bifano performed CPR, West retrieved the defibrillator from his patrol car–all patrol cars are equipped with them–and rushed back. The defibrillator did not change David’s condition, so Bifano continued administering CPR until paramedics arrived and took over minutes later. He was taken to Florida Hospital Flagler, where he was revived. His wife told deputies that her husband had no prior medical history and was not on any medication.
Cynthia told deputies that her husband has no prior medical history and does not take any medications. Deputy Bifano did not observed any signs of distress or foul play. David was transported to FHF by rescue 62 for further medical treatment.
Flagler County Fire Department personnel and Florida Hospital Flagler personnel stated the patient’s life was saved by Bifano’s quick response, the Sheriffs’s Office said. “I am proud to have Deputy Bifano on our team,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “He remained calm and collected during a very stressful situation and was able to use his knowledge and skills to save this man’s life. Great job by Deputy Bifano and FTO Deputy West!”
For Bifano, the life-saving on Kalorama Court proved to be only the opening of a shift that, nearing its end about 10 hours later, was book-ended by the investigation of an alleged armed robbery on Balsa Street, where a 14-year-old boy was allegedly robbed of his iPhone 8 at gunpoint. It was a strange incident: The boy said someone sprang from a passing Hyundai to rob him, so he ran off into the woods and throw his iPhone away even as the alleged robber ran after him a while before getting back into the car with three other occupants and driving away. The boy did not report the incident but narrated it on Snapchat, which led to a family member being alerted. That family member called law enforcement. Bifano responded. There were no witnesses to the alleged incident, which remains unresolved.
Bifano was previously employed with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office (from November 2017 to May 2018). He is a graduate of Daytona State College. He’s due to complete his training on Aug. 9.