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Clive Thompson -- "Ian" to his friends -- was one of the most well liked members of the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad. Ian joined the squad in 1994, took CPR and first aid classes and became a certified Emergency Medical Technician. He was a member and driver for the Friday night crew for 6-1/2 years and in early 2001 was promoted to the rank of Crew Chief. But Ian's best skill was not as an EMT, it was his way with people. He had a unique way of making the best of any situation and was especially good with children.
He and his wife Lucy and daughters Ella and Rachel were regular attendees at nearly all squad social functions and most of us looked forward to whatever antics they would bring to the next event. The were particularly fond of July 4th, our Independence Day, even though they were British and were usually the life of the party at our annual July 4 picnic. Perhaps that's because Ian's birthday was July 5. It's more likely because Ian just enjoyed making people happy.
Ian was tragically lost during the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. He worked in the offices of EBI located there and many feel he may have been trying to help others escape when the tower collapsed. History certainly points in that direction. After the first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, Ian helped a fellow employee descend the 31 flights of stairs from the office he worked in at the time. While working in his side business as a carpet cleaner in Summit, he was also quick to provide care when the child of one of his customers fell down the stairs. While on his way to work in New York, he stopped on the Pulaski Skyway to help pull a man from a burning car. Most of us believe that if he were at all able, Ian was likely trying to help others at the time he was taken from us. The NJ Commissioner of Health certainly acknowledged that possibility and added Ian to the New Jersey State EMS Memorial as dying "in the line of duty" in May of 2002.
Ian was certainly a very busy husband, father, businessman and volunteer. But he always seemed to find the time to do or say something nice to those around him. To say that he will be missed by his friends at the Summit First Aid Squad would be an understatement.
The membership contemplated several ways to memorialize Ian's contributions here and decided that the most fitting tribute to the man who loved life and people so much would be something that helped others, as he so often did. In October of 2002 we launched the Ian Thompson Memorial Vial of Life project an effort that used 80 volunteers to distribute a Vial of Life kit to each of the 8,100 homes in Summit.
In January of 2002, Ian's wife Lucy and his daughters Ella and Rachel were awarded Honorary Membership in the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad. They have since been granted U.S. citizenship and plan to stay in the area that they and Ian loved so much.