Youngstown honors airman for saving a life with quick thinking

By David Skolnick


Senior Airman Steve Cresanto of the Air Force was driving home along Midlothian Boulevard when he saw two men pushing a car that wouldn’t start.

He stopped and asked if they needed help. The next thing Cresanto of Youngstown saw was another vehicle hit the two men from behind, causing serious injuries.

Cresanto, an air transportation specialist assigned to the 910th Airlift Wing’s 76th Aerial Port Squadron in Vienna, got out of his car and provided first-aid to one of the victims, who later would lose his leg in the Feb. 4 accident.

“I took off his belt and ripped the [windshield] wiper off the car to use as a tourniquet,” he said. “We’re trained to use what you have at your disposal. It was the first thing I thought of, and it worked.”

Though the man had his leg amputated, he would probably be dead without the “heroic” effort of Cresanto, said police Detective Sgt. Patricia Garcar.

“I’ve never seen someone do what he did, especially with a windshield wiper and a belt,” Garcar said. “Not only did he help, he probably saved a life.”

And for what he did, Cresanto was honored Wednesday by Mayor Charles Sammarone and city council.

Cresanto said he knew the man likely would lose his leg, but he had to do whatever he could to keep him alive.

“I did my best to talk to him and to keep him from going into shock while I called 911,” he said. “It’s a shame it happened, but I’m glad I was there to help.”

Cresanto is being deployed to southwest Asia on Monday for six months. It is the third deployment for Cresanto, who’s been in the Air Force for the past six years.

Also Wednesday, council voted to allow the city’s municipal court to spend up to $65,000 from the court’s capital-improvement fund to overhaul the probation office on the second floor of city hall.

The seven probation department workers will move to city hall’s basement March16 with work starting shortly after that.

The project includes a new ceiling, lighting and workspace and makes improvements to its plumbing, electrical and heating systems.

Council also amended a city ordinance Wednesday, without comment, to not permit tow-truck companies and their employees from responding to the scene of an accident unless called by someone involved in the accident or the police.

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