Even though his scheduled work shift was over, a day of serving and protecting last April was far from complete for State Police Trooper Jaime Ablett of Galloway.
Ablett’s efforts helped save four people submerged in an overturned vehicle in Absecon.
Recently, the National law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund slected Ablett as its recipient of its Officer of the Month Award for August 2013.
At 5:10 p.m. Friday, April 5, Ablett was returning home after completing a shift at the New Jersey State Police Marine Services station in Atlantic City.
He had spent the day searching for missing boater off Cape May and was driving home toward the Germania section of Galloway and looking forward his evening.
Instead, he discovered a need for help.
A cry for help
While heading westbound on Route 30, Ablett arrived at the scene of a crash near the Home Depot. A vehicle had gone off the road and landed upside down in a retention pond not far from the highway.
Ablett parked his car and rushed to the scene. All he could see were the vehicle’s four wheels sticking out of the water. Ablett heard a cry for help and called dispatch for assistance.
Then he jumped into the cold water.
Nearby, Luis Roselli, a good Samaritan, was already attempting to help. He had been near the scene when the crash occurred and rushed to give aid.
Roselli had pulled the first of four victims from the vehicle before Ablett ran to his aid.
Unconscious and trapped
Together Ablett and Roselli re-entered the cold water and pulled two more unconscious victims from the vehicle and brought them to safety.
However, a pregnant woman remained inside, trapped by a seat belt.
Both Ablett and Roselli felt they were running out of time to free the woman.
Together, they frantically worked to keep her head above water.
When other emergency responders arrived, they gave Roselli a sharp knife that he used to cut through the woman’s seat belt.
Rescuers then carefully pulled her from the vehicle, saving her and her unborn child.
All four victims were transported to a local hospital for treatment.
Ablett and Roselli were credited with saving their lives.
Ablett, a 9-year law enforcement veteran, said that all New Jersey troopers are trained to perform similar rescues.
Any trooper would have acted in the same way, he said.
Ablett also thanked Roselli for being a good Samaritan.
According to Christopher Burgos, president of the State Trooper Fraternal Association of New Jersey, “Trooper Ablett’s actions exemplify the finest qualities of the law enforcement profession and the New Jersey State Police. The fact that this occurred while he was off duty highlights those qualities even more.”
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, based in Washington, D.C., is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of America’s law enforcement officers. The Memorial Fund’s Officer of the Month Award Program began in 1996 and recognizes federal, state and local officers who distinguish themselves through exemplary law enforcement service and devotion to duty.
More honors for Ablett
Ablett will be honored along with other Officer of the Month Award winners for 2013 at an awards luncheon during National Police Week in May 2014 in in Washington, D.C.
Additionally, their stories of heroism and service will be featured in the Memorial Fund’s annual calendar.
The Police Unity Tour is the official sponsor of the Memorial Fund’s Officer of the Month program.
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