Around noon on Sunday New Jersey Governor Chris Christie reported a Princeton firefighter had died during a rescue operation early this morning. That information turned out to not be correct. The rescuer did not die, but is in critical condition.
In addition, the person is a 39-year-old member of the Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad. The name has not been released.
The official infomation from Princeton Township is that two members of the squad were returning on foot from checking out a vehicle near Johnson Park School that was partially submerged when one of the two slipped into the rushing water. Both squad members were then "unsecured in the water". One of the pair was unharmed and the other was "found unconscious". EMS, fire & police were initially dispatched to the call around 4:30 AM. The vehicle turned out to be empty.
"Gov. Christie should have checked with the Princeton Fire Chief first," said Fire Chief Dan Tomalin on Sunday, moments after Christie's press conference.
Princeton Township Police Sgt. Michael Cifelli told Princeton Patch that the first aid worker swept up in flooding during the water rescue was still in critical condition, but not dead.
Gov. Chris Christie, at a press conference this afternoon, said that a firefighter in Princeton “succumbed to his injuries from an attempted swift water rescue.”
But the governor's office has acknowledged that Christie was incorrect. The fire fighter is still alive in the ICU, according to Princeton Township Mayor Chad Goerner, who spoke with The Associated Press.
One firefighter was killed this morning during a water rescue operation near Johnson Park Elementary School in Princeton, New Jersey. Here's what is known so far.
A firefighter has died after attempting a water rescue in Princeton, Gov. Chris Christie announced this afternoon.
“We’ve learned that a firefighter has succumed to his injuries from an attempted swift water rescue that took place in Princeton,” said the governor.
An hour ago, one first aid responder in Princeton was awaiting water rescue after going in to rescue someone else, according to Princeton Township Mayor Chad Goerner.
Another first aid responder is in the hospital after being pulled from the same body of water, Goerner said.