Melville Fire Chief in the Right Place to Save a Life
Melville Fire Department Third Assistant Chief Jason Bernfeld was in the right place at the right time when he rescued a man from an auto accident Monday morning, March 12, on the Northern State Parkway in Melville. The Chief was on his way to work as an NYPD Police Officer when he noticed taillights in the woods westbound, near the Round Swamp Road exit at about 6:20 a.m. He stopped and found a car overturned on its side down an embankment, with the injured driver trapped and hanging from his seat belt. The Chief called in the alarm to Melville Fire Department dispatch and noticed flames coming from underneath the dashboard. He quickly ran back to his truck and grabbed a fire extinguisher and seat belt cutter, hit the fire quickly with the extinguisher and cut the man out. The car was engulfed in flames within moments after the victim was removed by Chief Bernfeld through the rear window. About 25 Melville firefighters and rescue personnel arrived on the scene with two engines, a heavy rescue truck, two ambulances and paramedics, under the command of Chief Chris Nolan. Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze as rescue crews assisted the driver, who was transported to Nassau University Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.
Story by Steve Silverman, Photos courtesy Melville Fire Department