UPPER TOWNSHIP — Township Committee recognized a member of the Citizen Emergency Response Team on Tuesday, Feb. 12, for her quick action and dedication after a serious traffic accident.
Gayle Davidson of Ocean City was a few car lengths behind a head-on collision on Route 9 in the Seaville section of the township the afternoon of Jan. 25.
A utility pole had snapped, the accident had started a grass fire and one of the cars was damaged to the point where the driver could not get out.
According to Township administrator Scott Morgan, Davidson was one of a number of people to call to 911. In Upper Township, emergency calls are handled by the Ocean City Police Department, which serves as dispatcher for Upper Township emergency services and works with the Woodbine barracks of the State Police.
Morgan said Davidson gave the dispatcher thorough and important details and let them know someone was trapped in the car and extraction equipment would be needed.
“Gayle pulled her vehicle to the side of the road, put on her CERT vest and immediately began assisting at the accident scene,” Morgan said.
When emergency crews arrived, Davidson continued to direct traffic to free up rescuers to work on extracting the driver, he said, and did not leave the scene until the injured driver had been taken away.
“Gayle is to be commended for her quick thinking and professional action today. She jumped into an emergency role on her own initiative,” said Morgan, noting that the Ocean City Police Department called it a fantastic job.
Upper Township’s Citizen Emergency Response Team program, or CERT, prepares civilian volunteers to help in a disaster, including training in shelter management, CPR, traffic and crowd control, light search and rescue, disaster psychology and other areas.
At the end of an 11-week course, volunteers go through a disaster simulation exercise and a final exam.
“I really appreciate this,” Davidson told committee members as she accepted the resolution in her honor.
She said Morgan taught her everything she knows, and everyone who has the opportunity to undergo the training should do so.
“It’s very good knowledge to have for any type of emergency situation, man-made or natural disasters,” she said.
Morgan also praised the Upper Township rescue squad and the volunteer firefighters who responded.
“I was given a status update today on the lady that was extricated, and she is now in rehabilitation, I’m happy to say,” Morgan added, saying that it is a huge advancement over her condition immediately after the accident.
“Oh, fantastic,” Davidson responded.