November is the month of Thanksgiving. Sometimes we cannot know how important a presence is in our community until we are in need of them. Emergency. Trauma. Cardiac Arrest. Who arrives on the scene? Who can administer First Aid? Who will begin resuscitation? Who can stop the bleeding? Who can restart someone’s heart? The answer is simple: The trained men and women of the Marlboro and Morganville First Aid & Rescue Squads. They are our EMS, and each one of them is a volunteer.
They save lives. They work side by side with our police and firemen when tragedy strikes. Yet they also have their own careers throughout New Jersey and New York; careers ranging from accountant, local store owner, cardiologist, retiree, criminal attorney, stamp collector, Great Adventure employee, homemaker, and students in H.S. and College. They come from all walks of life. There are fathers and daughters working side by side and mothers and daughters sharing the experience of saving lives. 365 days a year, 7days a week, regardless of the weather, they are available and on call. When there is a severe storm warning 2 crews stay on duty at the building so that they are ready and available for any emergency that might arise in town.
One day there may be no calls for the squad. Another day there may be 6 calls in one hour. The First Responder and the police arrive on the scene before paramedics. They utilizes any resources needed for the emergency, including neighboring squads for backup, firefighters and even calling the Medivac helicopter if necessary. They assist the police and firemen at the scene. Anywhere from 2 to 4 EMTs are present. They have their fully stocked ambulance that prepares them for anything, including stabilizing the injured and transporting them to a nearby hospital.
When asked why they volunteer, most of the responses are the desire to make a difference and to help others in their town. The most rewarding experiences come from being there to help someone at their worst hour when they are needed the most. No doubt it is known that a volunteer is in it because they love it, but the impact they can have on another person’s life is invaluable. “We are not superman, we can’t save everyone but we can do everything that is humanly possible to try,” says member John Butterweck. How many lives has your team saved? “More than I can remember,” he replied of his 13 years in the Morganville First Aid & Rescue Squad.
One college student from Marlboro, with 4 generations of Firemen in her family describes her experience with the Marlboro First Aid & Rescue Squad as “amazing”. Nicole Smith, who is studying Psychology & Criminal Justice, sees the squad as a family, working together with compassion and without judgment, to help save lives and bring comfort to victims during a crisis. Some squad members, who have 3 to 5 children at home, describe their reasons for joining as an opportunity to become more knowledgeable about first aid, and on how to react during a critical situation. After the initial CPR training members are able to ride on the rig, and after the required EMT training they can assist in an on-scene emergency. Along with a fully trained EMT, cadets between the ages of 16 and 18 help out in 3 hour shifts each week.
Right now the First Aid & Rescue Squads are in a crisis. Donations and funding from the state are down. These squads need to pay their utility bills, electric, and keep their equipment updated and working. Recently Columbia Bank in Marlboro funded a grant to supply the Morganville First Aid building with a generator. But EMTs need to maintain their licenses and certificates with continued training. Fundraising events for both Squads will be in the near future. Please be sure to attend and offer your support.
The Squads are always looking for more volunteers. Currently the Morganville First Aid & Rescue Squad has 24 members but what they really need is 50. The Marlboro First Aid Squad has 55 members and they need 15 more. The commitment and the time that is devoted to being on a First Aid Squad are irreplaceable and the journey that each person takes has the ability to change one’s life forever.
Thank you to Marlboro & Morganville First Aid & Rescue Squads for always being there when we need you.
For more information:
http://www.marlborofirstaid.org or call (732)-536-1166
http://www.morganvillefirstaid.org or call (732) 591-1200