Posted Monday, July 8th, 2019

Pequannock Township Police Chief Brian Spring announces the following:

At about 9:02am, the Pequannock Township Police Department received a 911 call reporting that a man  was trapped in a collapsed trench at a worksite located in the rear of the Knights of Columbus facility at 84 Lincoln Park Road in Pequannock.Morris County Rescue: Worker Caught in Collapsed Trench in Pequannock

The victim was reportedly working for a private contractor who was contracted to do work for Verizon Wireless in the rear of the property where Verizon has a cellular tower. Pequannock officers responded to the scene and found a 61 year-old man was trapped in a collapsed trench.

At 9:12am, the Morris County Communications Center was contacted about the incident by Pequannock Police, who requested assistance from the Morris County Trench Rescue Team and additional outside emergency response agencies.

Upon the arrival of the Morris County Fire Mutual Aid Coordinator, and after the scene was further assessed, the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) Strike Team was activated along with additional mutual-aid agencies.

The man who was caught in the trench was medically treated throughout the rescue operation, which lasted approximately three hours. The Flemington Raritan Rescue Squad provided a rescue shield which was placed in the trench and around the man to providing protection for him from the debris while trench operations were in progress.

The man was removed from the trench shortly after 12 noon. He was transported to a landing zone located at Lincoln Park Airport. He was loaded onto Hackensack Air 1 at 12:23pm and transported to the closest trauma hospital, St. Joseph’s Trauma Center located in Paterson. The patient arrived at St. Joseph’s Trauma Center at 12:29 p.m.

“Pequannock Township is extremely grateful for the quick and professional response from a number of specialized response agencies and their specialty equipment that allowed this rescue effort to be facilitated with no additional injury to the victim,” said Chief Spring.Morris County Rescue: Worker Caught in Collapsed Trench in Pequannock

“This was a three-hour rescue operation facilitated and coordinated by a number of high-quality professionals who assisted in removing the victim from the trench. Had this operation not been handled in the manner in which it was, the outcome could have been significantly different.

“The patient was treated and ultimately able to be released from the hospital and that is a direct credit to the many agencies and first responders on scene today.”

The following list represents all of the agencies that responded to support this rescue effort:

  • Atlantic Health Advanced Life Support (ALS) and Ambulance
  • Atlantic Health Physician
  • Cedar Knolls Fire Department
  • Flemington Raritan Rescue Squad
  • Hackensack Fire USAR Rescue and Lumber Truck
  • Hanover Township DPW – VAC Truck
  • Hoboken Fire USAR Rescue and Lumber Truck
  • Madison Fire Department
  • Morris County Emergency Medical Services
  • Morris County Fire Coordinator
  • Morris County Fire Mutual Aid Coordinators
  • Morris County Office of Emergency Management
  • Morris County Sheriff’s Department
  • Morris County Special Operations Group
  • Morris County Technical Rescue Team
  • Morristown Fire Department/UASI
  • New Jersey MD1 Program
  • New Jersey State Police Urban Search and Rescue Task Force One
  • NJ Division of Fire Safety
  • North Hudson Regional Fire – USAR Rescue
  • Patterson Fire USAR Rescue
  • Pequannock Township DPW
  • Pequannock Township Fire companies 1 & 2
  • Pequannock Township OEM
  • Wayne Fire Rescue 5

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also was on scene investigating the work site.