Captain Joseph Shastay Rescues Victim from Burning Building
It was a routine call in many ways when the call came in Sunday morning April 10, 2011 at 08:03hrs. That morning, Jersey City Fire Department Captain Joseph Shastay was assigned to Rescue 1 when the call came in to respond to a house fire with someone possibly trapped. As Rescue 1 was responding to the house fire on Manhattan Ave, in Jersey City; the firefighters heard another transmission over the radio, “heavy smoke in the area”. This was not going to be just a routine call.
As they arrived at the scene, Capt. Shastay and three firefighters from his unit, Rescue 1, moved swiftly to the fire building and initiated a primary search for the reported victim. They proceeded to enter through the back door of the house, a house that was engulfed in flames and dense black smoke. Once entering the house, they realized the door would not stay open. But, due to quick thinking, the firefighters were able to prop the door open, thus aiding in ventilating and clearing the dark, dense smoke that was impeding the search of the house.
As the search progressed through the house, the firefighters discovered an older woman in the bathroom with serious burns to much of her body. With time of the essence, the firefighters worked feverishly to evacuate the woman as quickly as possible from the toxic inferno. Once outside the fire building, the Rescue Unit firefighters worked together with Emergency Medical Technicians to get the severely injured woman into an ambulance and off to the Jersey City Medical Center for evaluation and treatment. She was later airlifted to the Burn Center at St. Barnabus Medical Center in Livingston, NJ.
Great admiration goes to Captain Shastay and firefighters Milne, Borges, and Sir, all of Rescue 1 for risking their lives for that of another!