Hospital pays tributeto lifesaving rescuers

Rescue Squad members recognized

for saving lives of others
By:Alec Moore
   Hillsborough rescuers at a Life Saving Awards ceremony Wednesday were expected to come face to face with two people whose lives they had saved.
   The fifth annual Life Saving Awards and Recognition Dinner, sponsored by the Somerset Medical Center, held at the Redwood Inn in Bridgewater was scheduled to pay tribute to emergency service personnel who helped save lives and also give the people they saved the opportunity to publicly express their gratitude.
   For many of the patients expected to be at the event, the awards ceremony served as a reunion for the rescuers and their patients.
   "I don’t have a recollection of their faces, I was pretty out of it when they came to get me," said 62-year-old Joseph Deithorn of Hillsborough, who was resuscitated by the Hillsborough Rescue Squad late last year after suffering a heart attack.
   Whether he can recall their faces or not, however, the effort of the squad members who responded to his home on a November evening after he began having chest pains is something Mr. Deithorn does not take for granted.
   "They did a fantastic job, they saved my life and I’ll always be especially grateful for that," he said.
   Following his near fatal heart attack, Mr. Deithorn was transported to Somerset Medical Center where his condition was stabilized. He was then transported to Robert Woods Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick to undergo an angioplasty and stent insertion into a blocked artery. Mr. Deithorn noted that Somerset Medical Center was not licensed to perform the necessary stent procedure that was required which necessitated his transport to Robert Woods Johnson.
   In addition to saving the life of Mr. Deithorn, the hospital was also set to honor the Hillsborough Rescue Squad for saving the life of 18-year-old Short Hills resident Joel Salinger, whose life was nearly cut short after a car crash on Route 206 and Raider Boulevard.
   Last July, Mr. Salinger suffered severe injuries, including a fractured larynx, after the accident. Mr. Salinger was extricated from the vehicle by the Rescue Squad and then transported to a trauma center by Somerset Medical Center’s emergency service personnel.
   Mr. Salinger was in a coma, on life support, for 16 days after the accident. After his awakening he remained hospitalized for an additional two months. Mr. Salinger still undergoes regular therapy sessions once a month, said a SMC spokeswoman, who also noted that Mr. Salinger will be attending Brown University in the fall.