On Friday 11 September at 2028 Hours, the Hunterdon County Technical Rescue Task Force was dispatched to Route 78 near Turkey Hill Road in Bethlehem Township for a serious motor vehicle crash with a vehicle reported to be off of the roadway and down a steep embankment
SBES responded to this call as part of the HCTRTF. We were initially called to assist with a BLS unit then upgraded to a rescue assignment. Heavy Rescue 365 and Rescue 365 responded with 11 personnel and operated until 2330 hours. REHAB365 was special called by command to also assist with monitoring the rescuers..
Upon arrival, HCTRTF personnel assisted local emergency services with a search for a possible victim reported to have been ejected from the vehicle on impact. Crews used rope systems to access the crash site and searched the densely wooded area. Chainsaws were used to clear debris and create a path. The NJSP NorthSTAR helicopter assisted with the search from above with their FLIR system. The search proved negative. Unfortunately, one subject in the vehicle did not survive the crash.
Personnel set up a monopod system on Heavy Rescue 365 in order to rig a rope haul system on the embankment. The victim was then extricated and carefully brought up to the roadway via the rope system.
Units cleared as released by command.
When things go wrong, sometimes very wrong, the community calls 9-1-1 for help. South Branch Emergency Services has a specialized team of rescuers that help in answering that call when it comes to someone injured, incapacitated or trapped in a space and has to be rescued.
One of the best ways to prepare is to practice. Members of the Rescue Services Unit here at SBES held a drill, testing some of the skills they have learned in the past, in case those are needed. This helps these professions prepare for and execute a confined space rescue in a timely manner. Rescue drills provide personnel the experience of working through different scenarios in order to familiarize themselves with situations they could encounter. Conducting rescue drills helps prepare our teams to, when necessary, rescue those in need.
Confined Space Rescues fall into two categories. There are time-sensitive, which usually mean an oxygen-deficient atmosphere or medical emergency exist and may require rescuers to be on supplemental air; or non-time-sensitive, in which case our crews have time to conduct an entry at a slower, more deliberate pace, and usually will not require supplemental air.
There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to Confined Space Rescues. Entrants must wear full body harness, have retrieval lines in place, and may be on supplied air to make their entries. This means communications to the outside or safe area, rope lines for entry and retrieval, supplied air set ups, and command to of all the items occurring. All of these items are logged into a "Confined Space Entry Permit" to document the activities and roles of each rescuer.
Having this specialized rescue team is a service that South Branch Emergency Services offers to our response area, but we also are part of a larger, more complex team called the Hunterdon County Technical Rescue Task Force. For events that may exceed our capabilities, or may be in an area not covered by a CSR Rescue Team, the HCTRTF stands ready to respond. Made up of trained rescuers from not only SBES, but also the Flemington-Raritan First Aid & Rescue Squad, Whitehouse Rescue Squad, Lambertville Fire Department, the team is organized by the Hunterdon County Department of Public Safety.
Each year, our Confined Space Rescue Technicians must make at least one "Entry", and this drill allowed several of our volunteers and staff alike to make that entry.
If you would like information on how to become a volunteer of our Rescue Services Team, visit our website at https://www.sbes365.org
The South Branch Emergency Services, Inc dba Clinton First Aid & Rescue Squad (SBES) is a recipient in a recent round of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants for first responders. The grant competitive, meaning we received these funds based on the merits of the Squad's request to offer better protection for our members.
Awarded last September 8th, the $104,000 FY2018 Assistance to Firefighters Grants was used to purchase sets of EMS non-firefighting turn out gear to include blood-borne-pathogen resistant rescue jackets, ANSI compliant traffic vests, helmets, gloves, googles, pants and boots for more than 50 members of the organization.
SBES contributed 10% to the cost-sharing purchase, which "without receiving a grant like this, would have been impossible to update to the latest available protection for our members", stated Frank Setnicky, Chief.
:"When we first applied for this grant in October of 2018, we had no idea if we would be able to make this project possible" stated H. Bucky Buchanan, Deputy Chief of EMS. "For the past several years, since the AFG Grant program has allowed EMS Agencies like ours to apply, we have submitted unsuccessful applications for funding of multiple projects". This year that changed with the award of the departments first Assistance to Firefighters Grant.
"Not only are many of our personnel receiving issued gear, but we are also able to replace State-mandated gear on all our ambulances, some of which dates back over 23 years old" stated Chris Miller, Deputy Chief of Rescue.
Thanks go out to Congressman Tom Malinowski who not only wrote a letter of support for this project, but also time to visit with our leadership last year to review our application request. We'd also like to show our appreciation to the Town of Clinton Mayor Janice Kovach and Council for offering support of our applications throughout the years.
Clinton First Aid & Rescue Squad and High Bridge Emergency Squad Proudly Announce a New Name and Details of July 1 Merger
By working together as a single organization, the same dedicated group of EMTs and Rescue Associates will bring faster and better emergency care to both communities.
Clinton and High Bridge, NJ…Throughout each of their decades-long histories, Clinton First Aid & Rescue Squad and High Bridge Emergency Squad have pursued the same goal: Serving their communities by protecting the health and safety of the people who live in, work in, or visit their communities. Now, with the guidance of local residents, business owners, government officials, they are joining together to create one new organization to serve those communities better.
South Branch Emergency Services will officially launch on July 1.
Discussions that led to this important and necessary step began nearly two years ago. In the face of shifting populations, growing demands on limited resources, and a decline in the number of volunteer EMTs and rescue associates nationwide, the leadership of both organizations knew something had to be done to insure they could continue to provide high quality emergency services for many decades to come. In January 2019, a Steering Committee comprised of community residents, local business leaders, elected and appointed officials, and representatives from both emergency service organizations was formed. After reviewing current conditions and considering ways to improve them, the committee concluded that a merger was the best option. The committee, Clinton First Aid & Rescue, and High Bridge Emergency Squad, began forming a new organization that will build on the strengths of its two predecessors and seamlessly serve both communities.