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PCCC Student and Volunteer Firefighter Is Praised for Heroic Rescue 


Posted September 11, 2018

You might have seen or read the news reports in the last few days about a 19-year-old volunteer firefighter who saved a man trapped in a burning SUV that had turned over on a road in West Milford. The young hero, Lukas Graf, is a student at PCCC.

According to news reports, Lukas was driving in West Milford on his way to pick his sister up from a friend’s house, when he spotted the fire, heard someone trapped inside the vehicle calling for help, and sprung into action.

Though off-duty and without his standard firefighting gear, he grabbed two bottles of water from the back of his car and raced toward the SUV.

"I dumped the two bottles of water on the car that was on fire and was able to calm it down a little bit," Lukas told ABC News. "Sure enough the back hatch opened for me so I go in there a little bit, grab his hand and pull him out.”
Lukas brought the victim to safety and the fire department responded shortly after.

“I’ve been a volunteer firefighter for two years with the Greenwood Forest Fire Department (West Milford Company 3), said Lukas, a community-minded young man with a commitment to public service.

Also an Eagle Scout,  Lukas achieved that highest rank in scouting by completing a service project several years ago for his Fire Department. He established a fundraising drive to construct a patio for the volunteer firefighters to “relax, barbecue, and enjoy their downtime.”

An engineering science major, Lukas plans to transfer after graduating from PCCC to New Jersey Institute of Technology where he will pursue a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He aims to become either a surveyor or a New York City career firefighter.

Last Saturday’s rescue was the second time Lukas saved a life as a firefighter, but he is modest about his heroism. “In the heat of the moment, we are trained to make key decisions to protect life and conserve property.” 

He added, “It makes me feel great to give back to my community that has done so much for me. “

On this 9-11 Day of Remembrance, when we pay special respect to first responders and emergency workers everywhere, we acknowledge Lukas for his courage and humanity.

Written by Linda Telesco
Photo courtesy of Lukas Graf