Two teenagers who fell through ice into the freezing waters of the Passaic River, were rescued by fire fighters this afternoon.
Shortly after 3 p.m., a frantic citizen arrived to headquarters to alert firefighters after witnessing the two teens fall through the ice. Battalion chief Brian Rathbone, who was first to arrive at the scene, where he could see and hear the barely moving teens scream for help.
Rathbone knew that time was of the essence and that every second was crucial. Without hesitation, a wetsuit or even a crew, Rathbone plunged onto the ice-covered river before the rest of his rescue team arrived.
The incident - which occurred approximately 30 feet from shore in West Side Park, in waters of approximately 10 feet deep - ultimately ended with the rescue of both shivering teens.
The two unidentified teens were taken to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, where they are recuperating.
The efforts of all the firefighters, the resident's fast initiative to alert crews, and the close proximity from headquarters to where the teens were, all played a role in the outcome of today's rescue.
Photo: File photo