Back to News

AUGUST 29, 2006


10 Pembroke Court,
Lawrence Township

During the evening of Tuesday, August 29, 2006, Lawrence Road Fire Co. volunteers helped free a man whose arm became trapped inside the door of a car.

According to police, the 48-year-old man was working on the driverís door of his friendís 2001 Ford Mustang GT convertible, trying to replace the doorís broken power window motor, when the freak mishap occurred at about 8:45 p.m. inside the garage of 10 Pembroke Court.

Reaching down inside the doorís inner panel, the man tried to remove the faulty motor. But as he did so, a spring-loaded scissor-like mechanism clamped down on his hand.

Part of the mechanism impaled the man in the webbing between two of his fingers.

The manís friend phoned 911. Township police, a Lawrence First Aid Squad ambulance, and a full rescue assignment (Rescue 23 from Lawrenceville Fire Co., Rescue 22 from Lawrence Road Fire Co., and Rescue 21 from Slackwood Fire Co.) were dispatched at 8:47 p.m.

Rescue 23 signed on radio at 8:50 p.m., followed by Rescue 22 at 8:51 p.m. and Rescue 21 at 8:53 p.m.

Rescue 22 was commanded by Assistant Chief Shaun Dlabik and driven by Ff. Joseph Dlabik Sr., with a crew of Capt. Edward Kitchen, Ff. R.J. Laird, Ff. Todd Lenarski and Junior Ff. Peter Proctor.

Also responding were Chief Wayne Hannon in Car 22 and Deputy Chief Chris Pangaldi in Car 22-1.

Lawrenceville Chief Dave Burns arrived at 8:50 p.m., followed by Hannon and Pangaldi both at 8:52 p.m., Rescue 23 at 8:53 p.m., Rescue 22 at 8:56 p.m. and Rescue 21 at 8:57 p.m.

Firefighters pooled their resources, assessed the unusual situation, and tried several ways to free the manís hand. The air chisel, Holmatro O-Cutter, cribbing, and a variety of hand tools were among the equipment from Rescue 22 that were used at various stages of the rescue effort.

Fearful of injuring the man any further, firefighters ultimately had to slowly and carefully disassemble part of the door before they were able to use a halligan bar to raise the mechanism up until it released the manís hand at 9:24 p.m.

The wound was then bandaged and the man rushed in a Squad 129 ambulance to Capital Health System at Fuld hospital in Trenton for treatment.

All units were recalled at 9:33 p.m. and Rescue 22 was back in quarters by 9:41 p.m.

Top of page