A MESSAGE FROM WILDWOOD (New Jersey) FIRE CHIEF DAN SPEIGEL Chief Speigel asked us to pass this on www.FireFighterCloseCalls.com
On Saturday, September 14, 2019 at approximately 1800 hours the Wildwood City Fire Department, Squad 3 and Rescue 3 along with the North Wildwood Fire Department Quint 2 were dispatched to the 200 block of East Baker Avenue for a reported structural collapse. Squad 3, under the command of Firefighter Gerry Vessels, arrived and immediately reported a major deck collapse with multiple people trapped. He also requested the Cape May County Regional Urban Search Team (R.U.S.T.).
Wildwood Fire Chief Daniel Speigel arrived on scene and assumed command and requested a 2nd alarm assignment be transmitted. New Jersey Task Force 1 – Urban Search and Rescue Team was also initially requested. Cape May County’s Emergency Medical Services Coordinator, Chief Sean McDevitt, was requested and dispatched 2 EMS Strike Teams for ambulances to the scene. Wildwood Police along with neighboring police agencies from North Wildwood and Wildwood Crest responded and assisted with traffic and crowd control as well as transferring patients to awaiting ambulances.
The building is a seven-unit multiple family dwelling condo building. The 2nd and 3rd floor front decks suffered a complete “pancake” type collapse trapping multiple people. In total approximately 18 people were transported. At least one victim was airlifted to Atlantic City Medical Center’s Trauma Unit – City Division from the scene. It’s also been reported that several victims had either transported themselves or were transported by personally owned vehicles (POV’s) to Cape Regional Medical Center. All patients were extricated and transported to medical facilities in about one hour.
The City’s Fire Department and the City’s Construction Office are working with the building owners, engineers and contractors to properly secure a hip-roof that is currently unsupported due to the collapse.
Agencies assisting on scene and covering the island for additional calls included:
Fire Departments – Wildwood City FD North Wildwood FD Ocean City FD Cape May City FD Wildwood Crest FD West Wildwood FD Stone Harbor FD Rio Grande FD Villas FD Erma FD EMS Agencies – Wildwood Crest EMS Lower Twp. EMS Middle Twp. EMS Stone Harbor FD Wildwood FD North Wildwood FD Atlantic Care Paramedics Police Agencies – Wildwood PD North Wildwood PD Wildwood Crest PD Cape May County Regional Urban Search Team (R.U.S.T.) Cape May County’s EMS and Fire Coordinators New Jersey Task Force 1 – Urban Search and Rescue Team (Incident Support Unit)
No information is being released on the patient’s current conditions at this time. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available. On behalf of the City of WIldwood, we sincerely (from Chief Speigel) thank all that responded, assisted and have reached out.