Goldens Bridge Fire Department

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Emergency on Muscoot Reservoir
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By 2nd. Lieutenant Tyler Dente
January 2, 2019

Members of the Golden’s Bridge Fire Department were dispatched at 6:55 a.m. on New Year’s Day to an address on Old Bedford Road in Old Golden’s Bridge for a reported capsized vessel with victims in the water.

Within minutes, Chief Jim McManus and Asst. Chief Albert Melillo arrived at the address provided by emergency dispatch. Chief McManus immediately determined that the location of the reported emergency was the DEP fishing area on the Muscoot Reservoir, approximately one mile from the end of Old Bedford Rd.

With information provided by initial witnesses, Chief McManus located one victim on the shoreline who was immediately pronounced dead by Westchester EMS Paramedics. After spotting a second victim, whose body was afloat about 40 feet from the shoreline, and the capsized boat 150-to-200 feet from land, Chief McManus requested GBFD Marine 25 to launch from the DEP boat launch, and requested that the Yorktown Heights Fire Department Dive Team be added to the response.

Engine 138, Rescue 25 with Marine 25, and Utility 38 responded upon the initial dispatch, with Lt. Bill Holze, Firefighter/EMT Doug Orlovitz and Firefighter Mike Giannettino suited in cold weather exposure suits. Rescue 25 deployed Marine 25, GBFD’s water rescue boat, which effected a recovery of the second victim – who was brought to shore and also pronounced dead by Westchester EMS Paramedics.

While recovery of the second victim was underway, marine and shore units of the Golden’s Bridge Fire Department, Lewisboro Police Department, New York City DEP Police, New York State Police K9 and Yorktown Heights Marine Unit commenced a search of the immediate and surrounding shoreline for other victims. Additionally, members of the New York State Police Dive Unit, after multiple hours in the water, determined there were no other victims.

“Unfortunately, this rescue response went into a recovery mode very quickly,” Chief McManus said. “This was a terrible tragedy and certainly not the way anyone expects to start a new year. Our prayers go out to the victims and the families they left behind.”

Once declared a recovery operation, the New York State Police assumed control as lead agency of the scene. The Golden’s Bridge Fire Department remained on site to provide a number of support services, which included transport by GBFD Marine 25 of State Police divers to the search area, as well as the transport by GBFD Utility 38 (the Department’s all-terrain vehicle) of investigative and other essential personnel to the command site that was established on the shoreline.

GBFD personnel were on standby as a precaution while State Police divers were searching the choppy waters, as 25-35-mile-per-hour winds whipped the surface.

Chief McManus praised the coordinated and cooperative effort of all the responding agencies – among them the Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps, which was on scene with two ambulances and crews; Lewisboro Police Department; Katonah Bedford Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps, which had an ambulance on standby; Yorktown Heights Fire Department Dive Team; Westchester County Department of Emergency Services, including Battalion 13 and County Car 4; DEP Police, and State Police.

“We want to thank all the personnel involved in undertaking an operation of this magnitude. The coordinated response from all agencies was flawless. While the outcome was negative, much can be said for level of professionalism displayed by the members of GBFD, as well as all the additional responding resources,” Chief McManus said.

Units: 2141, 2142, E138, E139, Rescue 25, U38, Marine 25,
Mutual Aid: Yorktown FD Dive team, NYSP, Lewisboro PD, NYC DEP Police, LVAC, Westchester EMS, KBHVAC, Battalion 13, DES Car 4

Add a Comment Add a Comment 1 Comment(s)

Mike Cassar January 04, 2019 at 9:37 AM
Good job guys. My sources tell me you were all very professional, as always.

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Golden's Bridge Fire Department
254 Waccabuc Rd
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