Article I wrote for the Scotch Plains Rescue Squad – published in local news outlets in May 2017

May is Rescue Squad Month

It’s rescue squad month, and the Scotch Plains Rescue Squad is proud to say that after 80 years, we are still serving the residents of Scotch Plains with an all-volunteer membership. Over the years, many rescue squads have either closed down or have been taken over by a paid service. But thanks to the generous contributions of our community, we continue to carry on the same as we have since 1937.

Even though our members aren’t paid salaries, it takes quite a bit of money to support the high-level of service that we provide year after year. Monetary donations not only allow us to pay for necessities like bandages, oxygen tanks, and defibrillators, but they also mean we can regularly update and buy the latest and most reliable equipment and ambulances. This year, we are purchasing a new ambulance as well as the newly mandated communication devices. Just these two things will total over $225,000. Thankfully, through our annual fund drive, we have had the finances to cover these large expenses.

Besides big ticket items, we also have many other everyday expenses such as maintenance of our building and the cost of utilities. There are also insurance premiums, uniforms, gasoline for the ambulances and fire rehab vehicle, and many other expenses that arise throughout the year.

We hope to continue to provide the best service, even though we have received many fewer donations and much less money over the last few years. Therefore, when you receive our fundraising letter, please consider giving whatever you can to this worthwhile organization.

Besides our monetary needs, we must also have volunteers to staff our ambulances to ensure we can respond in a timely manner. The rescue squad provides all necessary training and uniforms, so there is no cost to the member. Besides answering over 1,300 calls a year, we also stand by at many special events held in town, such as Scotch Plains Day, the Memorial Day Parade, high school football games, and the summer concerts on the Village Green. In addition, we provide demonstrations for Boys and Girls Scout troops, clubs, and any other group that may be interested in what we do.

Becoming an Emergency Medical Technician not only benefits our town, but these skills can be used wherever you are in a multitude of emergency situations. Instead of just being a bystander calling 911, you can actually save someone’s life. There’s no better feeling than that.

Please feel free to contact us regarding donating or volunteering at scotchplainsrescuesquad@gmail.com or call (908) 322-2103 for non-emergencies.

Submitted by Sue Baldani, a life member of the Scotch Plains Rescue Squad.

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