HVAC Installer Jordan Rothman pulled to the side of Rt. 27 to put out small fires March 21 and prevent at least a nightmarish buildup of traffic during rush hour.
Rothman had just finished a job in New Brunswick and was driving back to Plainfield Gas when he saw smoke ahead.
“I was scanning ahead, like they’ve trained us,” Rothman said, noting that once he saw a small fire he figured it was caused by a driver throwing out a cigarette.
He put on his truck’s strobe lights, parked away from the fire, and grabbed his fire extinguisher. He was putting out the fire when he noticed two more fires. By the time he got those out, the wind had re-ignited the first fire. While he was spraying it, Gas Operations Health & Safety Coordinator Camille Clarke-Lavender parked her car to assist.
“It was a good stop,” Clarke-Lavender said. “I was just proud to see that Jordan recognized that hazard and immediately went in to action to help the situation. Big kudos to him for his hazard recognition and making the public safe.”
From a distance, Clarke-Lavender saw the box truck and the employee spraying something — and thought it might be someone doing a markout in an unusual place. When she approached Rothman, she realized his good deed.
“Soon after Camille showed up, the fire trucks arrived,” said Rothman. “I was at the right place at the right time with the right training. They tell us to keep our fire extinguishers ready, to check them and keep them at full charge. We’re out and about a lot and if we can help the community then by all means we should do what we can to help.”
Rothman’s supervisor, Allen Buesing, said he wasn’t surprised that Rothman took quick action to prevent a worse fire, especially since it was windy.
“Jordan has good integrity. He does the right thing when nobody is watching,” Buesing said. “He’s a great employee.”
Rothman, who will be with PSE&G three years in June, said he was glad he was able to help and glad that he works for a company that encourages such actions.
“There must’ve been 100 people who drove by and weren’t able to do anything,” Rothman said. “It’s great that the company encourages us to help out.”
(Featured photo: Rothman’s truck parked a safe distance from the fires photo by Camille Clarke-Lavender)