The former Park Central Apartments, located on NW Central Avenue in Seaside Park, was enveloped in emergency lights, the sound of heavy equipment cutting and breaking through walls, and debris being tossed aside in a daring rescue effort. The building, however, was empty – and there was no fire.
The Seaside Park Volunteer Fire Company hosted two drills at the derelict former apartment complex this week – on Tuesday and Thursday nights – where firefighters from both the borough as well as other local towns trained in numerous techniques that could one day save lives. Chief Dennis Vincent said the training exercise included multiple scenarios and lasted several hours each night after beginning at 7 p.m.
Seaside Park firefighters drilled at the site, which has been acquired by the borough and is due to be demolished, on Tuesday. On Thursday night, several local companies, including Lavallette, Silverton and Whiting, joined for another training session. Firefighters could be seen mounting ladders in strategic positions, setting up heavy equipment and lighting, using industrial saws to cut through the roof and entering units to simulate rescues.
Footage from the drill appears in the video embedded at the top of this story. Photos appear below.
Last month, the borough council awarded a contract to a firm which will tear down the beleaguered Park Central apartment complex for $48,600. Seaside Park’s municipal council, along with its planning board, is continuing to discuss potential redevelopment opportunities for several properties in town, including Park Central. A redevelopment plan is expected to develop over the course of the year.