Police & Fire

Public Safety Personnel Are Recognized by Cedar Grove for Brave Acts


CEDAR GROVE, NJ - Cedar Grove Town Council recognized Public Safety Personnel at its meeting on Nov. 6. 

The recognition resulted from actions the men and women took during two incidents that occurred in Cedar Grove during the summer. 

The first occurred on July 22 when Cedar Grove Police Officers responded to the scene of a drowning.  A 5-year-old had been found at the bottom of a swimming pool in the back yard of a township residence.  Family members had removed the child from the pool and called 9-1-1. The child was blue, unresponsive and not breathing. Due to the location of the residence the 911 call went to the Passaic County Sheriff Department.  Public Safety Telecommunicator Lorraine Bucaria answered the call and gathered the required information. She provided pre arrival instructions and transferred the call to the Cedar Grove Police without delay.  Officer John Smigelsky was the first officer to arrive on scene. While still alone he prepared the victim for defibrillation, simultaneously performing chest compressions. Officer Smigelsky initiated back blows, cleared the airway, and the child began to breathe and his colored returned. Cedar Grove Ambulance and Rescue Squad members arrived and took over patient care. The child was transported to a nearby trauma center and was discharged from the hospital after making a full recovery.   For their actions, the following were recognized by the Township Council: Patrolman John Smigelsky, Cedar Grove Ambulance and Rescue Squad, Passaic County Sheriff Department Public Safety Telecommunicator Lorraine Bucaria.  

The second incident occurred on Aug. 15 when Cedar Grove Police, Fire and EMS personnel responded to the scene of a motor vehicle crash at the intersection of Pompton Avenue and Myrtle Avenue. Upon arrival police found one of the vehicles off the roadway. The operator was being pulled from his car by good Samaritan Benjamin McHugh. He was not breathing and in cardiac arrest. Patrolman John Smigelsky, Patrolman Joseph Ligas and Lieutenant John Kennedy arrived and immediately initiated CPR, and AED protocols. The victim was shocked multiple times. Cedar Grove Ambulance and Rescue Squad personnel arrived and assumed patient care. While en route to the hospital, ambulance personnel were able to regain the patients pulse and breathing. The victim was later released from the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery. For their actions, the following were recognized by the Township Council: Lieutenant John Kennedy, Patrolman John Smigelsky, Patrolman Joseph Ligas, Cedar Grove Ambulance and Rescue Squad and Benjamin McHugh.  

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