Vote “Yes” for LOSAP to Support Your Volunteer Rescue Squad on November 5

Do you value the free, often life-saving service volunteers provide to the community of Berkeley Heights? Have you ever had to call for an ambulance in an emergency, or know a loved one who dialed 9-1-1 in the middle of the night? If you answered “yes” then, please support a LOSAP program for the Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad (BHVRS) by voting “Yes” on the ballot question on November 5th – Election Day.

LOSAP is a Length of Service Award Program that offers financial rewards, based upon longevity of service to the community, mainly to emergency services volunteers in communities across the country. LOSAP can provide significant cost savings to municipalities that would otherwise have to pay salaries and benefits for full-time emergency responders. The pension-like program is also intended to assist emergency service organizations in the recruitment and retention of members.

For the volunteers of the BHVRS, this LOSAP program would help cover out-of-pocket expenses such as fuel, auto expenses, and seasonal clothing.

Nationwide, the number of volunteers is at a 20-year low; more than 70 percent of volunteers quit within five years. For every 10 new recruits, less than three will stay on long enough to get the proper training and experience to become full productive members.

Here in Berkeley Heights, a group of only 15 regular members at the BHVRS provides coverage for a town of more than 13,400 people, including a five-mile stretch of Route 78. Last year, we responded to more than 800 calls, including medical emergencies, falls, and motor vehicle accidents.

Without the BHVRS, an out-of-town EMS provider would be needed to respond to emergency calls. Any new, non-local ambulance service would have significantly higher costs and slower response times than our current in-town volunteer crew.

Approving LOSAP shows that you value the free service volunteers provide to the community – a service that quite literally saves the lives of many in our community. If you vote “Yes” to establish a LOSAP for the Rescue Squad, the estimated cost of the program for the first year (2020), which includes credit for one year of qualifying service, is $3.94 per household. The estimated cost of the program for the second and subsequent years is $1.97 per household.

Who benefits from LOSAP?

● The community—Implementing a LOSAP can provide significant savings to municipalities that may otherwise pay for-profit or county providers.

● Your EMS provider—EMS agencies utilizing LOSAP have more experienced members, which enables them to become more highly skilled. The increased retention of members helps reduce both stress and burden on the volunteer system.

● Individual residents – By implementing LOSAP, the BHVRS can better attract and retain emergency volunteers, which means more medical help will be available to respond when you need them.

For more information on the BHVRS, please visit our website at www.bhvrs.org, and follow us on facebook @bhvrs. Find our LOSAP information flyer here.

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Cadet Applications due May 1st!

Our Cadet Membership applications will be open through May 1st. After May 1st, interviews will be conducted and our next group of cadet members will be selected. Our Cadet Membership is for high school students ages 16-18. 

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New Weekly Open House

Stop by for Coffee. Ask Questions. Meet the Officers. Tour the Ambulance.

Are you curious about the Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad (BHVRS)? Have you thought about joining but are concerned about the commitment? Are you unsure how you could fit one more thing into your busy week?

Our members felt the same way. Many of us have jobs, children, and some are even back in school. The BHVRS makes it easy to volunteer. Members have the option of riding at night or during the day—and you do not need to stay at the building when you are on shift.

Come stop by our open houses, every Tuesday night from 7-9pm at the Rescue Squad located at 378 Snyder Avenue. Ask our squad members anything you want to know! Learn about what it is like to be on the BHVRS and how it can fit into your hectic life. There is no obligation to sign up. 

“When I first joined I was worried about balancing the squad with a work-from-home job and little kids. But the BHVRS understood I was only able to give so much,” says squad member Carolyn Sayre, NREMT.

“When I am on shift I can still help my kids with their homework or sit down for a family meal. I can tell you that they have never remembered the bedtime story I missed when my pager went off or I had a training to attend. But they sure do remember,  “My mom is an EMT!”

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Happy Birthday Leah!

We want to wish a very special HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our BFF Leah!! Leah made another very generous donation to the squad this week at our business meeting. Happy, happy birthday Leah!! We are so lucky to have a friend like you!!

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Cadet Fundraiser

Every year, the Cadets of the BHVRS hold a fundraiser for a cause that they are passionate about. This year, they have decided to raise money for Operation Supply Drop, an organization dedicated to cultivating a strong community of relevant and reliable support to our nation’s service members. By making generous donations to our Operation Supply Drop team, you will help Operation Supply Drop build and reinforce veteran support through “supply drops.” These supply drops impact over 450 units and support over 350,000 troops. “Supply drops” are not just common care packages. They are crucial in that they “Make Fun Where There is None”, hosting and supporting morale events (homecomings, Christmas parties, family days, etc), providing coffee, and other entertainment (video games). Please consider making a donation to our team because all donations are going toward making an impact for our service members. Thank you!

https://give.weareosd.org/fundraiser/1801204

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Winter Walk

Come see the BHVRS at the Winter Walk!! We are writing letters to Santa and making balloon animals!

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BHEF Color Run

This morning, the squad is enjoying the beautiful weather at the BHEF Color Run! Stop by our table to learn more about becoming a member and get a balloon animal!

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