Firefighters Rescue Injured Hiker in Watchung Reservation

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BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Firefighters rescued a woman early Friday afternoon in Watchung Reservation after she fell and injured her ankle.

According to reports, the Berkeley Heights Dispatch center received a 911 call at 1 p.m. for a woman who had
fallen and sustained an ankle injury while hiking in the reservation. Berkeley Heights Police and Rescue Squad members located the woman on the south side of Blue Brook, just over the border in Scotch Plains.

Due to the difficult terrain and icy conditions, the Berkeley Heights Fire Department Technical Rescue Team also responded, along with Berkeley Heights Fire Dept Rescue 1 and Squad 1.

Lt. Tom English was the rescue officer. After he evaluated the situation he determined the safest and most effective way to get the injured victim to the ambulance was to utilize a stokes basket with ropes to lower her down the river bank which was covered with ice. Deputy Chief Chris Schulze who was theincident commander recognized the fact that it was going to be a manpower intensive rescue and requested mutual aid from New
Providence and Stirling Fire to assist, officials said.

The victim was carried up to Cataract Hollow Road (The Deserted Village) to a waiting New Providence EMS ambulance. The rescue took about 35 minutes to complete.

While the rescue was in progress Union County Fire Mutual Aid provided a ladder truck from Springfield and Engine’s from Plainfield and Summit to cover the township in the event of another emergency.

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