LOWER SOUTHAMPTON >> Three months after a horrific accident nearly claimed their lives, the Neshaminy Four were reunited with their rescuers during an emotional gathering on June 17.
The girls shared emotional embraces and kisses with their rescuers who answered the alarm that fateful night not knowing what to expect, but ready to handle any scenario.
Lower Southampton Supervisor Kim Koutsouradis led the private event held inside the brand new Tri-Hampton Rescue Squad building on Bridgetown Pike in Lower Southampton. He was joined by township police chief John T. Krimmel Jr., Tri-Hampton Rescue Squad Chief Jason Dowd and Lower Southampton Fire Chief Stephen Brookes.
Also represented at the event were US Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, State Senator Robert Tomlinson and State Reps. Frank Farry and Wendi Thomas.
“Since that night, the Neshaminy Four have been in all of our prayers and thoughts,” said Koutsouradis. “Things could have ended up so different if it wasn’t for the quick action of all the emergency responders such as the Lower Southampton and Northampton Township police departments, the Lower Southampton and the Northampton Fire departments, Tri-Hampton, Yardley-Makefield, Central Bucks, Bryn Athyn rescue squads, also the Bucks County Physicians Response Team who all took part in this incredible combined effort. But with all that said, we cannot forget the actions of the residents out there along Bridgetown Pike who heard the crash and jumped into action not knowing what they were about to see.”
During the very special recognition event hosted by the Tri-Hampton Rescue Squad, emergency responders and Bridgetown Pike residents met for the first time since the crash with the Neshaminy Four - Julianna Mazzoni, Julia Aquilone, Angelique Corsino and Taylor Donnelly - who were traveling on Bridgetown Pike in Northampton Township on March 27 when they were involved in a horrific crash.
Six emergency responders were dispatched to the level one mass casualty incident on Bridgetown Pike in the area of Playwicki Park. And six patients in all were transported from the scene to area trauma centers, one of whom was air-lifted by helicopter.
“As EMS professionals, we seldom receive much, if any post-care follow ups about the patients we treat, much less have the opportunity for a reunion. So tonight is a very special occasion,” said Tri-Hampton Chief Jason Dowd.
“This was a tough call … one that many of us will never forget,” said Dowd. “The first responders encountered a very chaotic and challenging scene.
“From the first 911 calls and the guidance provided by the dispatchers to the assistance given by local residents, to the initial care rendered by the Police Officers and FireFighters prior to EMS arrival and then to the amazing care provided by these professionals, as a Chief I could not be more proud of how well these first responders performed that evening and am grateful for their dedication and service,” said Dowd.
Emergency crews responding to the scene that evening included Tri-Hampton; Yardley-Makefield Emergency Unit; Bryn Athyn Fire Company; Central Bucks Emergency Medical Services; Temple University Hospital Med Flight; Bucks County 911; Northampton Township Police Department; Northampton Township Volunteer Fire Company; Lower Southampton Fire Department; Lower Southampton Police Department; and the Bucks County Emergency Health Services Physician Response Team.
“It’s been a whirlwind since the accident,” said Victor Corsino, the father of Angelique, one of the Neshaminy Four. He attended the event to personally thank the first responders who came to the aid of the crash victims.
“I’d like to thank all of you - our fire, rescue and EMS. We live because you do what you do,” he said.
“I’m glad to be here celebrating something so positive,” he continued. “What makes a community great? It’s not the trees or the traffic. It’s the people who work to protect it and live in it. And what a perfect spot to have an accident - in front of Mike and Lori’s and Eli’s houses,” he added of the Bridgetown Pike residents who came to the aid of the victims that night.
The state and federal lawmakers who had helped organize the reunion were unable to attend due to extended sessions in Harrisburg and Washington, but their representatives were on hand to present flags flown over the US Capitol, resolutions and proclamations to the Neshaminy Four, the residents who helped at the scene and the first responders who rescued and cared for the injured.
Ryan Skoczylas, Chief of Staff for State Sen. Robert Tomlinson, called it an honor to “stand in a room filled with heroes - our first responders
“What makes the community so great is your bravery, your compassion and your courage to do the right thing. You are truly remarkable people.
“We are so proud to represent each and everyone of you. We’re so proud to have you in our community,” said Skoczylas, “because you truly are the best of the best. You are what makes Lower Bucks County a great place to live.”
Reading from remarks prepared by State Rep. Frank Farry, his district legislative aide, Natalie Szapowalo, commended the first responders for their actions on March 27. “You did exactly what your training and experience taught. You performed as a team and this is the result.”
She then turned to the Neshaminy Four reminding them that “we’re here for you as a community understanding that your challenges will continue.”