Members of the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad were among the many mutual aid resources to respond to the scene of a natural gas explosion at an Elizabeth home on Wednesday.
The morning explosion leveled a 2 family home and severely damages 2 adjoining buildings. 1 person was killed and 13 injured in the blast. Firefighters from several neighboring towns as well as a regional urban search and rescue team responded to conduct a thorough search for additional survivors or victims. The large response lasted for several hours and required an on scene rehabilitation operation for the responders. That’s when the Elizabeth chief reached out to Summit for help. The Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad is well known in the region for its on scene rehab capabilities being among the first agencies to establish such a team and offer specialized training for its members. The team normally responds with its special operations trailer stocked with supplies needed for a responder rehab as well as treatment of mass casualties. In this case, Elizabeth needed just manpower and Summit Captain Kari Phair sent EMTs James Rath and Greg Vartan. On arrival, Summit’s volunteers were assigned to staff the Medical Ambulance Bus (pictured here) which was used for the rehab operation. Fortunately, there were no responder injuries. Two cats were rescued during the operation and Summit’s crew helped get them both placed with neighbors. After the rehab operation wrapped up, Summit’s crew was asked to relocate to the command post and stand-by while the utilities were removed and demolition begun.
The all volunteer First Aid Squad is always looking for new members to join its ranks. All needed training, uniforms and equipment is provided. For information, please call 908-277-9479, or Click Here.