On Wednesday, 3/15/23, at 0832, the Hope Volunteer Fire Department - Station 38 Fire and the Independence First Aid Squad were dispatched to Frelinghuysen for a fire alarm at a nursing home/assisted living facility. The call was upgraded to a structure fire one minute later, and Warren County Communications struck a first alarm assignment.
BLS 73-53, Special Services 735, and Chief 735 all responded within minutes of dispatch. Due to the structure's occupancy type, Chief 735 initially requested additional BLS units from Blairstown Ambulance Corps and Allamuchy-Green First Aid Squad. Upon the arrival of Special Services 735, Deputy Chief 735 was advised of possibly 30 patients to be evaluated for possible smoke inhalation. With a large number of patients, Chief 735 requested for the Level 2 Mass Casualty Incident plan to be dispatched, adding additional BLS units from Warren, Sussex, Morris, and Monroe Counties. Atlantic Mobile Health was also contacted and initially sent 4 BLS units, 1 Critical Care Unit, and multiple Managers and Supervisors.
Engine 38-63 and Rescue Engine 38-62 arrived and found one wing of the building filled with smoke, and staff members had already evacuated the residents of that wing. Interior crews found the source of the fire to be an attic HVAC unit which was quickly mitigated by fire units on location.
Once EMS units determined that no patients on location required immediate care, the Level 2 MCI was reduced to a non-emergent response. Then, once it was determined that there was no need for an emergency evacuation of residences in the facility, the Level 2 MCI was canceled by Chief 735. The incident was held to BLS 73-53, BLS 46-54, Atlantic BLS 241, and Atlantic BLS 241.
Once fire mitigated any life hazards, Chief 735 established a unified command with Atlantic Manger 602 to asses the 51 Residents of the Facility as well as 5 Staff Members.
Warren County Department of Public Safety EMS coordinator EMAC 1 was assigned as the Medical Branch Director, Deputy Chief 735 was designated as the Triage Unit Leader, and Atlantic Assistant Manager 615 was designated as the transport unit leader.
With the assistance of facility staff, a total of 56 total patients were systematically evaluated throughout the facility, and one patient was transported to the hospital.
Units remained on location until the Department of Health approved the facility to reoccupy the affected faculty wing.
All EMS units cleared the scene at 1032 hours.
During the incident, BLS 73-52 was staffed out of our second station to cover our Primary Area.
EMS Units on Scene:
Special Services 735
Deputy Chief 735
Blairstown Ambulance Corps BLS 46-54
Allamuchy-Green First Aid Squad BLS 95-52
Warren County Department of Public Safety EMAC 1
Atlantic Mobile Health BLS 221, BLS 241, BLS 292
Atlantic Mobile Health Manager/Assistant Managers 602, 614, 615
Atlantic Mobile Health BLS Road Supervisor
Other Agencies Involved on Scene:
Hope Volunteer Fire Department - Station 38 Fire
Blairstown Hose Company #1
Green Township Fire Department
New Jersey State Police
Warren County Fire Marshall
Warren County Health Department