Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad (BHVRS) “Why I Ride” series features BHVRS members and why they chose to become an EMT and volunteer.
Why did you join the BHVRS?
I joined the squad in October 1971. Back then I’m sure I volunteered because it looked like something exciting to do… and it was. But I don’t think you can continue to do it—and do it well—if that is your only reason. I know it didn’t stay as my only reason or even one of the top reasons. I find that now I do it because I want to be there in what is a trying time for someone. For some people, it is the most difficult time in their lives. I want to be able to help them, make them feel better, comfort them and their family and get them to the hospital where they can be taken care.
What would you say to someone who wants to join the BHVRS but is nervous?
I think that is everybody who volunteers for the squad. We are not going to put anyone into a situation they are not capable of handling. When someone new joins they ride with a minimum of two fully trained members on a crew. There is training they go through so they know what to do in an emergency and how to care for patients. And even then, we are always going to be there with them. We bring them along at a pace that will make them comfortable until they get to the point where they are capable of being the second person on a two-person crew. Many times there are more then two people on the crew and hopefully that will continue to be the case. With a steady influx of new volunteers, our squad will be able to continue to provide this care for many years to come.
What has been your most memorable moment?
My most memorable moments are when I can be there to help people in this town when they need it. I have been able to help people that are neighbors, friends of mine, or friends of my parents who lived in Berkeley Heights for many years. When those folks look up and see me it reassures them to see someone they know. When that happens, it reminds me of why I continue to ride on the rescue squad and why I hope to continue riding for many more years.