UNION, NJ – Union firefighters have had an eventful few days.
First, firefighters responded to a call at about 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning to assist a New Jersey State trooper trapped in the Elizabeth River at mile post 142.4.
According to Union Fire Chief Mike Scanio, the trooper was at an accident scene on the Garden State Parkway North when he noticed a vehicle coming directly at him. He jumped over the guardrail to avoid being hit, not realizing he on an overpass over the Elizabeth River.
Scanio said with all of the recent rain, the river was moving rapidly. Both the cold temperature and rapid movement of the river affected the trooper’s ability to remove himself from the river.
The Special Operations team, trained in swift-water rescues, were able to get the officer to the shore and he was transported to University Hospital for evaluation.
Also on Sunday, firefighters responded to the report of a fallen tree on Wilshire Drive. Firefighters found that the large tree at 1257 Wilshire Drive had fallen directly onto the house.
According to Scanio, no one was home at the time and firefighters had to force entry to check the home. He said there was structural damage to the house and firefighters tarped the first and second floors at the tree impact points. Union police, PSE&G and the Township’s Building Department were notified.
On Monday at about 2:00 p.m., firefighters were called to a tree down at 1475 Brookside Drive. Scanio said the tree crashed through the roof and front wall of a second-floor bedroom. The tree was resting on electrical wires. There was minor damage to the home on the left. No one was home at the time.
Scanio said PSE&G responded because of the electrical wires involved and Union Department of Public Works was also on scene.