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St. Teresa of Avila Aids Squad

“Neighbors Helping Neighbors” has been the slogan used by the Summit First Aid Squad for over 50 years.  Thanks to generous members of the community including St Teresa of Avila Parish in Summit, that works both ways.  Monsignor Robert Meyer, aka Father Bob, Pastor at St. Teresa of Avila Parish, recently offered a donation on behalf of the Parish to the First Aid Squad, to thank them for all they’ve done for Summit during the past year. Karen Karen Barisonek, Finance Director for St Teresa’s; Father Bob presented a check to Bob Flanagan, President of the First Aid Squad.

St. Teresa of Avila encourages all Summit residents to consider donating to the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad to thank them for their hard work and dedication to our community within the last year.

Serving Summit since 1962, the all-volunteer First Aid Squad, responds to emergency calls 24/7, is entirely funded through private donations and does not bill for service.  The Squad is always looking for new volunteers to join its ranks. All needed training, uniforms and equipment is provided. For information on becoming a volunteer, or donating to the squad please call 908-277-9479, or visit their web site at:

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Squad’s Annual Fund Drive Underway

The Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad , an independent nonprofit corporation dedicated to providing emergency medical services (EMS), non-emergency ambulance transportation, and safety training to the Summit community — all provided free of charge and entirely funded through private donations — has launched its annual fundraising appeal. A fund drive appeal letter has been mailed to each Summit home and business.  The First Aid Squad does not solicit by phone.

The Squad is asking area residents to support its vital, life-saving services through tax-deductible donations that will directly fund its operations.

The Squad receives no funding from the City or other government agencies and relies solely on private donations to fund the purchase of medical supplies, equipment, and for professional training of its members.

While many towns have been forced to hire paid staff or contract with a paid EMS agency, Summit remains one of the exceptions, with its team of full-time, dedicated Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) volunteers, most of whom are Summit residents. The Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad responds to more than 2,100 calls a year.  Since its founding in 1962, neither their patients nor the taxpayer have ever received a bill.

 “While these last six months have been perhaps the most challenging in our 58-year history, we have continued to provide emergency medical services to our patients at no cost to them or local government. We need your support to continue our essential work, regardless of the challenges ahead. Please help us with a donation today”, said Squad President Bob Flanagan. 

The First Aid Squad answers emergency calls for help 24/7 and is always looking for new volunteers to join its ranks. All needed training, uniforms and equipment is provided. For information on becoming a volunteer, donating to the squad, or to view a video about the Squad please visit their web site at: or call 908-277-9479.

This story also appears in: TAPinto Summit | Summit Patch | Summit Times | American Towns

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National EMS Week in Summit

National EMS Week is a time to honor local Emergency Medical Services responders and promote awareness of their everyday services to the public.  Since 1974, every American President has signed a National EMS Week Proclamation.  This year’s version of EMS Week is particularly notable, given the enormous challenges facing EMS personnel due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, as well as the heroic efforts being made by so many EMS providers to help save lives, even as they risk the safety of themselves and their loved ones.    

This year’s EMS Week theme: “Ready Today. Preparing for Tomorrow” seems quite appropriate.  Despite the many dangers and difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad have continued to provide emergency pre-hospital care and ambulance transport, while diligently taking the precautions required to stay healthy and able to serve in this environment.  “The challenges have increased dramatically, and some of our procedures have changed in response to them, but our mission most certainly has not”, said Squad President Bob Flanagan.  “Under some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable, our members have continued to answer 9-1-1 calls every day and night.”    

Summit EMS volunteers began their EMS week recognition with a salute to EMS responders who have lost their lives in the line of duty this year, including 12 in New Jersey.

The Squad has been the City’s lead EMS agency since 1962, providing basic life support care and emergency ambulance transportation.  Other components of our EMS system include first responders from the Fire & Police Departments, Paramedics from Overlook Medical Center, Emergency Nurses & Physicians, 9-1-1 dispatchers and citizen first responders.  In addition to providing 24-hour emergency services, the Squad’s mission also includes public education in first aid, CPR, accident prevention and emergency preparedness.  

This story also appears in: TAPinto Summit | Summit Patch | Summit Times

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Squad Volunteers Rise to the Challenge

Life for nearly all of us has changed quite a bit in the past 2 months.  And that’s certainly true at the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad.  While many business and services are reduced or closed, the Squad volunteers are still answering calls for help; 156 of them in March.

The COVID-19 crisis has changed the way we answer calls and some of the equipment we use, but no call goes unanswered.  While a few members have stepped back from active duty to protect family members with health issues, several of our college members have returned home and helped to fill our ranks. 

Like most first responder and healthcare organizations, obtaining the personnel protective equipment or “PPE” has become a challenge.  “After seeing how quickly we were using our supply of disposable gowns, we obtained heavier duty reusable protective suits and issued one to each active member”, said Squad Chief Kari Phair.  Volunteers assembled a decontamination booth in the ambulance bay for cleaning after a call.  We have also been fortunate to receive several donations from local businesses and residents that included N95 respirators, surgical masks and face shields. 2 area high schools are among those using 3D printers to manufacture face shield bodies to which a clear file is attached.  When obtaining the disinfection products used in the ambulances became difficult, and the Squad obtained a UV sanitization device; the same technology used by many hospitals including Overlook.  According to Squad President Bob Flanagan, “The safety of our members and patients remains our #1 priority.”

A variety of local restaurants and good neighbors have also been sending food to the Squad. Since the duration for a typical medical call is often much longer these days resulting in missed meals that’s been helpful.  “Our volunteers truly appreciate the show of support from the community”, commented Flanagan.

While the number of calls has risen only slightly, the locations have changed.  With people staying home more, the Squad is seeing fewer car accidents and emergencies at places of business, while calls to a patient’s home have increased substantially.

On April 7, the Summit First Aid Squad led an effort to thank their local heroes: health care providers at Overlook Medical Center.  36 different agencies joined the Summit Squad in an appreciation parade past Overlook.  Summit Squad members participated in a similar effort the following week for St Barnabas Medical Center.

Crew Chief John Staunton, who also serves as Summit’s Board of Health President believes we may have passed the peak in COVID cases.  “We saw a good sign this afternoon when we had 3 ambulances respond to simultaneous calls and none were COVID related”.

This story also appear in: TAPinto Summit | Summit Patch | Summit Times | American Towns

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Summit Millwork Helps Squad

Several local businesses helped the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad put the finishing touches on their new headquarters building.  Among them was Summit Millwork & Supply, owned by Aldo Curiale and his son Nick, both of Summit.  The younger Curiale is also a former volunteer with the First Aid Squad.

Summit Millwork & Supply donated all the custom architectural mouldings used in the building.  Their quality work is especially evident in the Squad’s conference room.  “We allow other non-profit groups to use our meeting and conference rooms and often receive compliments about how nice the conference room looks”, noted John Staunton, the Squad’s Building and Grounds Chair.

“The new building project was the largest endeavor attempted by the Squad and we are grateful to the many who helped us see it through, including the Curiale family”, said Squad President Bob Flanagan.

This story also appears in: TAPInto Summit | Summit Patch | Summit Times | American Towns