OLD BRIDGE — A township resident who was stranded on her floor for days after suffering a fall has a local mayoral candidate to thank for her rescue.

Councilman Dave Merwin said he hadn't even planned to go canvassing door-to-door on Saturday, but he decided to make some rounds in Cheesequake Village, an active adult neighborhood.

It was a full-circle moment — Merwin gad answered his first call as a Laurence Harbor First Aid Squad member to the same neighborhood, in 1972.

Merwin said he approached one home on Louisiana Drive and noticed a good deal of mail piled up from the mailbox. Not getting an answer at the door, he moved on to a neighbor.

He said when asked, that neighbor said he hadn't seen the home's resident for a couple of days, so Merwin asked the man to stay outside as he looked through the windows of the house in question.

Merwin said he saw a body lying on the floor, at which point he called 911 to report it.

The councilman then went to the rear of the home and banged on a sliding glass door.

Merwin said he saw slight movement in the person's leg and "faintly heard 'help'" so he ran around to the front of the home, where the neighbor held the screen door as Merwin kicked in the front door.

He got to the woman, who told him she'd been on the floor for "10 days," though a check of the woman's cell phone, which was charging in another room, showed the last outgoing call was five days earlier, according to Merwin.

Paramedics arrived and took the woman to a local hospital, for further evaluation.

Messages to Old Bridge police regarding the incident weren't immediately returned.

Merwin, a Democrat, has been a volunteer with the first aid squad for 47 years — he's answered over 8,000 emergency calls, delivered a baby and continues to serve four nights a week.

He faces Republican incumbent Mayor Owen Henry on the November ballot.

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