Quick decisions and training behind this life saving rescue by Newark firefighters


Newark firefighters are now ready for whatever the city throws at them, even an unresponsive driver who just experienced a serious medical episode. These Newark firefighters saved a man’s life by acting quickly and employing their training to a real life scenario.

Newark Public Safety Director Brian A. O’Hara reports that members of the Newark Fire Division’s Engine 10, Ladder 5, Rescue 1, and Battalion Chief 4 performed Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to a driver in a motor vehicle accident and were able to regain a pulse.

“It’s no surprise to me that Battalion Chief Orlando Arce would lead a team of firefighters to administer emergency aid to someone in distress. BC Arce is an outstanding leader and firefighter, and I commend him and his team for their effort”, Public Safety Director O’ Hara said.

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On June 5, 2021, shortly after 1:30 p.m., members of the Newark Fire Division responded to the intersection of Elizabeth Avenue and W. Peddie Street on a report of a motor vehicle accident. This response is the result of an initiative implemented by Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Public Safety Director Brian A. O’ Hara as recently as Tuesday, June 1, 2021. The newly instituted policy mandates the Newark Fire Division to respond to all life-threatening calls for service requiring an emergency medical response.

While at the scene, one of the drivers was in cardiac arrest with no pulse. Battalion Chief Arce immediately started chest compressions while members of Engine 10 administered oxygen. Members of Ladder 5 and Rescue 1 removed the driver from the vehicle and also assisted with chest compressions and were able to successfully regain a pulse but the driver remained in critical condition. Emergency Medical Services arrived on the scene, continued treatment and transported the driver to a local hospital for additional care.

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“I’m certain that this will be the first of countless incidents where Newark Firefighters will have a direct impact in any emergency response. I thank Mayor Baraka for his vision and support to make this program a reality for the people of our City”, Public Safety Director O’ Hara said.