BAYONNE, NJ- “In all my years on this job, I don’t recall ever being put in such a perfect spot at a perfect time,” Bayonne Firefighter Ed Skelly told TAPinto Bayonne of coming across a serious  accident while making runs as part of the Department’s Multi-Service Unit on Saturday. 

According to reports, a man identified only as being a priest suffered an apparent heart attack while driving on Avenue E and 29th Street just after 10:30 a.m. causing him to collide with several vehicles. Skelly has just turned on to Avenue E and, seeing the scene. Immediately “called it in on the radio and saw the victim was unconscious and unresponsive.

Just a few yards away at Bayonne Medical Center Bayonne Police Officer Ed Taveras was doing a report when he heard the call and ran over.

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The two, now joined by  Bayonne Police Officer Michal Kucza, extricated the victim and placed him on the ground. Skelly and Kucza immediately began CPR while Taveras ran back towards BMC to retrieve an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) which administers shocks in an attempt to restart a victim’s heart. 

The trio continued to offer aid to the priest as McCabe Ambulance Medics Ruben Martinez and Anna Anikiej helped get him onto a stretcher and transported him on foot to the emergency room, stopping on the way to administer additional shocks. 

“The efforts of Firefighter Skelly and Officers Taveras and Kucza are indicative of how highly trained our first responders are,” Fire Chief Keith Weaver said. “This life-saving incident demonstrates the team effort of our public safety agencies,” adding that their extensive training proved to be difference “between life and death” in this incident.

“I commend Police Officers Taveras and Kucza and Firefighter Skelly for taking swift action at a time when every second counted,” Police Chief Robert Geisler exclaimed. “These three men worked as a team to save someone’s life, I am very proud of them!”

Mayor Jimmy Davis offered his own praise in a Facebook post saying that the three men responded and performed their jobs “admirably.” 

Speaking to TAPinto Bayonne the newly crowned heroes said they were surprised to learn later their victim was a priest, while clarifying that one’s position has no impact on treatment delivered.

“Our chief always tells us to treat each and every person as we want our family to be treated, with that in mind and our training, everything was instinctive”, beamed Kucza with Taveras offering shyly “It’s no big deal, we just did our job.

“I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas, especially this gentleman.”


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