Building Collapse and Mass Casualty Incident
By Ex-Chief Michael Wichtendahl
November 3, 2022

At 1:30PM on Thursday, November 3, 2022 the Nesconset Fire Department responded to a Building Collapse on Middle Country Road in St James.

Initial arriving units came upon a scene with multiple injured persons, some with severe injuries at a building under construction. The front wall of the building collapsed and knocked over two scissor lifts that were in use.

The scene quickly escalated into a Mass Casualty Incident with 6 injured persons transported and others evaluated and released at the scene. One person was transported to a landing zone established at Nesconset Fire Department headquarters and airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital by Suffolk County PD Helicopter.

This was a multi agency response that operated under the command of Chief Frank Ragona:
First Responder 4-4-80
Ambulances 4-4-6A and 4-4-6B
Heavy Rescue 4-4-9
Engines 4-4-1 and 4-4-5
Smithtown FD, St. James FD, Ronkonkoma FD, Lakeland FD, Centereach FD, Stony Brook FD, and Stony Brook University Hospital Ambulances assisted on scene and in Staging.
Multiple Fire Marshals from Smithtown Department of Public Safety

The Nesconset Fire Department operated along side units from the Suffolk County Police Emergency Services Unit, Med-CAT Unit, Aviation Unit and Canine Unit.

All FD operations ended at 2:33PM and the scene turned over to the Suffolk County Police Department and Smithtown Department of Public Safety for further investigation.