Metuchen first responders benefit from donation of tools


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Tropical Storm Ida caused widespread flooding throughout New Jersey Sept. 1, resulting in hundreds of water rescues by first responders and nearly 30 deaths across the Garden State.

To help provide drivers with proactive measures they can take if trapped in a vehicle surrounded by rising flood waters, the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers (NJ CAR) met with Sen. Patrick Diegnan (D-18), chair of the New Jersey State Senate Transportation Committee, and Metuchen first responders recently to donate 500 safety hammer/razor tools, as well as palm cards and fliers with safety tips, to be distributed to the Metuchen community.

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“New Jersey’s neighborhood new car and truck dealerships are pleased to support first responders and to help the public learn more about flood-safety measures,” Jim Appleton, president of NJ CAR, said in a prepared statement.

“The loss of life caused by the widespread flooding during Hurricane Ida was a tragedy,” Diegnan said in the statement. “I want to thank New Jersey’s franchised dealerships for quickly taking action to educate the public about the dangers of driving into a flood and providing life-saving tips about what to do in a flood emergency that I believe should be included in every drivers’ education class.”

Explaining the benefits of the safety hammer/razor tool, Metuchen Police Department Capt. JP Thessien said, “When faced with rising water, people will panic, which is why it is critical that everyone have a plan to avoid the circumstance and escape if they are unexpectedly overtaken by floodwaters.”

Echoing the importance of the tool, Metuchen Fire Department official George Wallace added, “When a vehicle is surrounded by water, pressure prevents the driver or passengers from opening the doors. It seems counter-intuitive, but you need to let water in to equalize the pressure and allow the door to open.”

Stressing why every driver should have a safety plan and know safety tips, Metuchen Councilman Jason Delia said, “We rely upon our Metuchen first responders every single day and they are particularly critical to our safety during a natural disaster. I couldn’t be happier that our Police and Fire departments are receiving these valuable tools and other resources to help get these messages to the public which may very well help save someone’s life in the future.”

  • This information was provided by New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers.

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