West New York Mayor Felix Roque this evening rushed to the aid of a citizen in distress beneath a collapsed building facade and secured a possible obstructed airway before ambulances arrived on the scene.
Roque is a medical doctor with his own pain clinic in his home town on 60th Street.
He responded to the emergency when he heard the sound of a blast at 5:27 p.m.
“I was seeing patients at my office and I ran out the door,” Roque told PolitickerNJ. “Three houses away from a façade had fallen and landed on people, basically crushing the head of one man. I grabbed him and stabilized his neck and airway and helped put him in the ambulance.
“It reminded me of the military,” said the former Army officer. “The instincts came back.”
Emergency responders took the man, and three other victims, to Jersey City Medical Center for treatment.
Roque said the man regained consciousness in the ambulance.
“It was intense,” said the mayor. “One lady’s foot was crushed and another man’s arm was injured.”
Seven or eight fire trucks and ambulances responded to the emergency.
Deputy Chief Michael Cranwell told PolitickerNJ it was too early to ascertain a cause of the accident.
“We had four injuries and they’ve been taken to the hospital,” Cranwell said. “At this point we are keeping people away from the building. At this time there is no suspicion of foul play.”
The mayor’s spokesman, Pablo Fonseca, issued a statement.
“He’s not a part time mayor, he gets zero salary. He’s a full time mayor and he’s all about protecting the people of West New York,” Fonseca said.