ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ – The Atlantic Highlands First Aid & Safety Squad’s Marine Unit jumped into action Sunday night, September 28, 2008, to aid an injured man aboard a boat anchored in the borough’s harbor.
Members of the AHFAS responded to a call of a man who was immobile because severe back pain on a boat that had sought refuge in the harbor over the weekend to wait out rough weather.
While an AHFAS member and an Atlantic Highlands Police Department patrolman were shuttled to the victim via the Atlantic Highlands Yacht Club, the squad’s 18-foot Boston Whaler rescue boat was launched and two AHFAS ambulances stood by in the harbor.
“The patient was located on a lower deck of the vessel, which made the removal a bit tricky, but the crew on the AHFAS boat worked flawlessly to safely get him to land,” said Jerry Pandolfo, captain of the Atlantic Highlands First Aid Squad.
AHFAS member Bill Mount pulled the squad’s rescue boat alongside the anchored vessel. There, members Richard Huff, Andrew Crawford and Mount removed the victim, placed him on the rescue boat and transferred him to an AHFAS crew in position on the dock in the harbor. He was then transported to Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, NJ.
“We train repeatedly for these types of emergencies,” Pandolfo said. “In rain, and rough weather, the squad performed quickly and efficiently to get the patient the medical care necessary.
“This is type of call is the primary mission for our rescue boat,” Pandolfo added. “We have an active municipal harbor and it is important for the AHFAS to be ready for anything that could emerge.”
The Atlantic Highlands First Aid Marine Rescue Unit is part of the Atlantic Highlands First Aid Squad, an all-volunteer organization that provides free emergency medical services around the clock to area residences. The organization operates on donations from the borough and the community.
“This was a true team effort,” said Pandolfo. “From the crew on the boat, to the team of highly-trained EMS staffers awaiting the patient on the dock who then transported the man to the hospital, everyone worked together to provide professional service in a difficult situation.”