PSE&G Trenton Gas’ Austin Miller and Eric Nemeth said the rescue was just another part of their busy day.
As Miller and Nemeth approached the car that was flipped on its side with fire and smoke coming out, their biggest worry was that there might be a family with kids inside of it.
Miller was driving a van in front of Nemeth, who was in a box truck, as they headed to their next job in West Windsor on an average autumn morning. So when Miller pulled over, Nemeth followed his lead.
“I told Eric that I was getting my fire extinguisher and that he should get his, just in case,” Miller recalled. “As I put the fire out, Eric was looking to see who was in the vehicle.”
It turned out to be just one young woman, yet she was trapped. Soon after the duo had stopped, another driver also pulled over and was instructed to call 911. Help from the nearby fire station arrived quickly, so Miller only had to keep the woman calm for a few minutes before the rescue team extracted her. He said she appeared shaken but otherwise fine.
For the woman, things could have gotten a lot worse quickly yet Miller and Nemeth don’t view themselves as heroes.
“We were in the right place at the right time,” Nemeth said.
“It was just instinct and reaction,” Miller said. “In Gas, we deal with emergencies all day. We’re trained well and we remain calm.”
Indeed, Miller and Nemeth quickly put on all appropriate protective safety equipment and talked to each other about their plan of approach before putting out the fire.
Trenton Gas Service Supervisor Stephanie Pangaldi said that she’s proud to work with Nemeth, Miller and the many colleagues like them who care enough to support others, especially in times of need.
“I commend them for stepping up and doing the right thing. Many people would freeze up and not know what to do. I’m glad that they sprang into action,” Pangaldi said. “All of the various trainings that our employees go through make us well prepared for almost every situation. The first words that come to mind are ‘public service,’ which is in our company name, and that’s what we’re expected to do.”