BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - When local Berkeley Heights Troop 368 helped NBC TV News celebrity Ann Curry, back in April, the Scouts were doing what they were trained to do.
On April 5, the Scouts were on a Philmont training hike through Harriman State Park in New York. The Philmont trip the Scouts will be taking in the summer requires extensive training to prepare for the ventures they will be challenged with at the 214 square mile high adventure base in New Mexico.
When the Scouts came across the hurt Ann Curry, who had broken her ankle, their instinct and training kicked in. With no prompting from Scout Leader Rick Jurgens, the Scouts sprang into action. This is what they had trained for.
“They splinted it up perfectly,” Jurgens said. “Just like in the pictures.”
Jurgens, a professional firefighter and EMT, double-checked their work and found they had made a textbook splint.
“We work on these requirements, and here’s an opportunity where it was a true test of all those First Class, Second Class first-aid requirements,” he said. “They got to use it and use it for real. And they did an outstanding job.”
"We were hiking along, and we came to a trail intersection," Rick Jurgens, of Troop and Crew 368 said, "and a lady was sitting on the ground with her one leg out. We didn't think anything of it, but one of the guys asked if everything is OK. She said, 'No, not really. I think I broke my ankle.' She told us to keep going, but the guys refused."
Jurgens, a firefighter and EMT, said the troop splinted Curry's ankle and helped her down the mountain on a makeshift stretcher.
Curry wrote a letter to the troop thanking them for their help.
"Your skill and professionalism were a great comfort to me," she wrote. "I was in great pain but you were very careful in carrying me over the sharp rocks and into the car that took me to the hospital.
"I feel enormously lucky you came along at just the right moment, and were so willing to help a stranger in need," she added. "You are a credit to the Boy Scouts and to your families, and I want you to know I am deeply grateful for your kindness and skill."
Curry also posted on Twitter about her experience, linking to the blog posting about her ordeal.