EAST ORANGE, NJ - The East Orange Public Safety Department, as well as the Department of Public Works, performed an outstanding job during the rescue of a construction worker trapped underneath a dump truck weighing more than 20,000 pounds. Working together for nearly an hour, firefighters used an air-bag/cribbing extraction technique, along with a loader truck driven by DPW’s Donnie Wharton, to help stabilize and lift the vehicle for the victim’s safe removal.

A 30-year old Parsippany man was rescued shortly after 9am on Tuesday, April 19, 2016 after being trapped under a dump truck for nearly an hour, city officials said.

The man, whose name has not been released, was working on the site of a new residential complex at 742 Park Avenue when the tandem dump truck he was operating began to tip over. He managed to jump out of the cab, but the truck toppled over, pinning him to the ground.

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The East Orange Fire and Police Departments were the first to arrive on the scene at approximately 8:27am and were later assisted by more than 50 additional emergency personnel from neighboring agencies in Elizabeth, Nutley, Morristown, Millburn and Newark.  

While the state’s Metro Urban Search and Rescue Strike Team was in route to the scene with the equipment needed to lift the truck, the Department of Public Works’ Recycling Division Supervisor Donald Wharton used the bucket of a pay loader truck to help raise the vehicle while firefighters painstakingly executed a little-used air-bag/cribbing extraction technique to carefully stabilize and lift the truck higher.  

It was the combination of this cooperative effort that helped bring the victim to safety. The man, who was able to communicate with rescue workers throughout the process, is currently in stable condition with a broken leg.