Mayor: Woodbridge police officer hailed as hero for helping worker struck by lighting

The mayor says that Eric Baumgartner and another worker were out on the field when the storm rolled in, and Baumgartner was struck by lightning.

Matt Trapani and Naomi Yané

Jun 14, 2023, 8:18 PM

Updated 367 days ago

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A Woodbridge Parks Department employee was struck by lightning while out on the soccer field at Iselin Middle School and is now in the hospital.
Mayor Jon McCormick says that Eric Baumgartner has been working for the town for 18 years. The mayor says that Baumgartner and another worker were out on the field when the storm rolled in, and Baumgartner was struck. The other worker immediately called 911.
Woodbridge Police Officer RJ McPartland was patrolling at JFK High School and arrived at the middle school. He gave Baumgartner CPR at the scene.
Baumgartner was taken to the hospital and is expected to be OK.
McParland was a firefighter before he became a police officer.
"I would say as of right now, I have every reason to believe RJ Mcpartland saved Eric Baumgartner's life, and I can't be prouder of the job our police officers do,” McCormick says.
The mayor says that this shows the importance of everyone being trained in CPR and basic first aid.
“We also encourage our police department to become EMTs so that is frequently the first person on the scene of any issue,” McCormick says.
"Hearing that he's doing well is a good feeling. I'm just happy I was close and got him as fast as I did,” McPartland added.
Officials say that Baumgartner was alert and talking at the hospital.


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