BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - A construction worker suffered a traumatic injury after falling into the basement of a home under construction on Thursday afternoon.

Berkeley Heights Fire Department was dispatched to Holly Glen Lane South to help rescue the man who had fallen about 20 feet into a basement which could only be accessed by a ladder.  There were no stairs or other means of access into the basement.

Berkeley Heights Deputy Chief Jim Hopkins said Union County EMS and Atlantic Paramedics were on scene treating the patient when firefighters arrived. Due to the patient’s condition and location, New Providence Fire Department was dispatched to assist with the rescue. 

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Firefighters from Berkeley and New Providence set up a system using ladders, ropes, and other equipment to safely remove the patient from the basement, Hopkins said.

It took just under an hour to rescue the patient from the basement and the medevac helicopter was dispatched to the Bell Labs helicopter landing zone to transport the patient to Morristown Medical Center’s trauma center.

Both the Berkeley Heights and New Providence Fire departments have been preparing for about five years to handle these types of emergencies. The departments have a joint Technical Rescue team that trains and is equipped for Confined Space, Trench, Water and Ice Rescue, Hopkins said.

Long Hill First Aid Squad responded to the scene to provide Firefighter rehab, Chatham Township, Chatham Borough, Summit and Stirling Fire departments provided coverage for both towns during the operation.