To the Editor:
Saturday night, Sept. 7, at Buckalew’s, as my family and I were waiting for a table, an elderly gentleman fell. While the true extent of this man’s injuries was not known, he appeared to be seriously injured. He may have stopped breathing for a brief period, had significant bleeding and was extremely disoriented.
My wife, a registered nurse, heard him fall and immediately asked the staff to call 911. She and a restaurant employee then tended to him, as best they could, until Beach Haven police and EMTs arrived.
Certainly, I was very proud of my wife for the assistance she was able to provide. This is the first time my boys and I had ever seen her “at work,” and it was impressive, to say the least. Likewise, the assistance provided by the restaurant employee was commendable. After the man was moved to his back and his airway had been cleared, this Buckalew’s employee kneeled over the man holding his head still, as it was feared that there may have been a neck injury, until the first aid squad arrived and placed a brace on him. Unfortunately, all too often, we (the general public) fail to “get involved” and help, when we should, but that was not the case with this young man.
This has been my family’s third season of keeping our boat in Beach Haven and spending a good portion of our summer on LBI. We have met so many wonderful people during our time on the Island and very much feel like we are becoming a part of the community. While we have witnessed the assistance provided by our excellent lifeguards on numerous occasions and are constantly impressed with their skill and dedication, this was our first opportunity to experience these other emergency personnel.
From their response time to their knowledge in treating the victim and compassion for his family, awesome is the word that immediately comes to mind. While we may have come to take this level of service for granted from our professional police officers, as our first aid squad is comprised of volunteers, it should not go without mention.
This incident has reminded me of the importance of all of the excellent emergency services we have here on LBI. We all owe a debt of gratitude to these folks, especially the volunteers. So, to all of our emergency services, especially those that responded to this incident, as well as the Buckalew’s employee and, of course, my wife: Thank you all for a job well done!
Cherry Hill, N.J., and Beach Haven