Scotch Plains Rescue Squad still going strong after 81 years

The Scotch Plains Rescue Squad just celebrated its 81st year serving the residents of Scotch Plains and its surrounding towns. It is the oldest squad in Union County and one of the oldest in the state of New Jersey.
Last year, our all-volunteer members responded to 1087 calls that included everything from performing CPR to assisting with a childbirth. Its members are NJ State Certified EMTs who are capable of handling a wide variety of emergencies. Training and answering calls can be time consuming, but these members are dedicated professionals who consider it an honor to serve their community.

However, not all the duties performed take place on the ambulance. A lot of work goes into making the Scotch Plains Rescue Squad the best it can be, and for this, we need officers and committees to maintain crews, ambulances, supplies, and the facilities in which they are stationed.

On Jan. 13, Mayor Al Smith swore in these dedicated members at the annual rescue squad Installation Dinner. The officers for 2018 are as follows: Ed Fiedler (President), Deborah Speth (First Vice President), Gregory Cassidy (Second Vice President), Joanne Gurske (Secretary), Harold Hill (Treasurer), Robert Gurske (Chaplain and Deputy Chief), Carolyn Sorge (Chief), Jerry Handsman (Deputy Chief), Patricia Buckridee (Delegate), Joan Lozowski (Delegate), Daniel Sullivan (Delegate), April Gano (alternate Delegate), Cynthia Hill (alternate Delegate), Marcus Valdez (alternate Delegate), Robert Foerster (Trustee), Robert Speth (Trustee), and Chang Yaramothu (Trustee.)

Now, more than ever, the Scotch Plains Rescue Squad needs the support of the community, whether it be by giving your time or donating to our fund drive. Many squads have had to close down in the last few years due to dwindling membership and funds. Let’s keep the Scotch Plains Rescue Squad and its members riding long into the future serving you and your loved ones.
For more information about becoming a member or to make a donation, contact or call (908) 322-2103 any weeknight between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.

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

Scotch Plains Rescue Squad Tip of the Month – Dealing with Sinusitis

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This past winter, many of us experienced not just the common cold, but sinusitis. As someone who has never had this before, I had no idea how painful it could be.

Many of the symptoms mimic that of the common cold, with stuffy or runny nose, itchy eyes and nose, and sneezing and/or coughing. However, sinusitis also presents with pain around the eyes and nose, headache, postnasal drip, and even pain in the roof of the mouth and teeth. If these symptoms are still present after 10 days, if you have a fever, or if there are underlying health conditions such as asthma or bronchitis, a doctor needs to be seen. Sinusitis can also lead to infections, which can cause even more pain, earaches, sore throat, heavy green or yellow discharge, and swelling of the eye area. If this is the case, antibiotics will be needed.

Otherwise, there are a few things that can be done at home. Massaging the eye area, using a humidifier to keep nostrils moist, and applying heat to the nose and eye area are a few of the most common treatments. There are also some over the counter sinus decongestants available, and some people find that cutting out dairy products cuts down on the mucus. Drinking more water and staying hydrated is important as well.

Since the common cold is one of the causes of sinusitis, it’s important to take precautions against catching one. Wash hands frequently, eat healthily, and try to avoid people who are showing symptoms of a cold.

The Scotch Plains Rescue Squad is a volunteer organization of Neighbors Helping Neighbors. With over 90 volunteers, we answer calls not only in Scotch Plains but in surrounding towns as well when needed. Besides answering calls, you will see our ambulances 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. We are also available to provide demonstrations for Boys and Girls Scout troops, clubs, and any other group that may be interested in what we do. In addition, we lend out wheelchairs, crutches, canes and other assorted medical equipment free of charge. Please reach out to us if there is something we can do for you. (908) 322-2103 for non-emergencies or

Contributing Author: Susan Baldani, a life member of the Scotch Plains Rescue Squad.

Showcase Salutes – The Chelsea at Warren

By Sue Baldani


Walk into the Chelsea at Warren, NJ, and you’ll feel like you’re in a luxury hotel. The bright, airy lobby is welcoming and immaculate. Residents and visitors alike will appreciate the fine craftsmanship and details that went into its design.

Like a fine hotel, this assisted living community provides many amenities. The lovely dining room serves nutritious and delicious meals designed by a registered dietician and prepared by experienced chefs. Besides regular meals, the Chelsea also offers a daily cocktail hour. Weekly housekeeping and laundry services make residents’ lives easier, and the fitness classes and on-site beauty/barber salon keeps residents looking and feeling their best. There is also a walking club which, in the nice weather, provides a relaxing stroll along the footbridge around the pond.

Weekly outings to grocery stores and shopping malls, events, and other local attractions are offered, along with daily activities such as crafts, bingo, and cooking classes in the center itself. There is also a community store and library run by the residents, and religious services for those who don’t wish to venture out. There is even a pub with a pool table for those who want a bit of night life.

Their independent living one and two bedroom apartments have high-end touches such as stainless steel appliances and granite countertops in the kitchens, and lovely open-concept living areas already wired for cable television and internet. The underground parking garage allows residents to come and go in comfort, and the security cameras give the residents peace of mind. Residents are also issued emergency pendants in case help is ever needed. As in the other units, there are 24/7 staff, on-site doctor and physical therapy appointments, and daily activities offered. And if preferred, add-on amenities such as prepared meals, laundry service, and house cleaning are offered. Continental breakfasts and daily cocktail hours are already included. The best part is, these apartments can be rented on a monthly basis at a reasonable cost and no down-payment is required.

While the Chelsea encourages independent living, they also have services for those who need a higher level of care. A professionally trained staff is on duty 24/7, and a 24-hour emergency response system is in place. In addition, there is also a full-time registered nurse on the premises, and for those who need them, on-site physical, occupational, and speech therapists.
For the memory-impaired, they have specialized, 24-hour care services in the secure Country Cottage. A dedicated staff offers a personalized program to stimulate and encourage residents in order to preserve the skills they do have in a dignified, comfortable atmosphere. For example, apartments are decorated with pictures and personal possessions so the person can feel at home. Assistance with everything from bathing and dressing to medications is provided, along with all housekeeping needs.

There are many other assisted living communities in the area, but the Chelsea is locally owned and operated. The owners are often in the centers and interact with the residents. They have been known to check up on those who are ill or having difficulties. Philanthropy is also an important part of their lives. After the hurricane in Puerto Rico, they were determined to help those left jobless by bringing them to the United States and giving them positions at The Chelsea. They also match whatever is collected at their various centers through fund raisers. The yearly Alzheimer walks raise money for Alzheimer’s New Jersey, and the charity golf outings raise money for the community’s first responders.

The staff, from the moment I walked in, couldn’t have been more friendly and courteous. The Chelsea also has very low turnover rates which is due to the appreciation and respect employees receive from management. I had the pleasure of speaking with Linda Ciminiti, the Director of Community Relations, and the passion she showed for the people who reside at the Chelsea was heart-warming. This isn’t just a job for her; she truly cares about the well-being of everyone there. By the way, if you live in Warren and want to meet some of the staff yourself, they are having their second free breakfast drive-thru on March 21, 2018 from 8:00 to 10:00 to show appreciation for the community.

Whatever the needs you or your loved one has, The Chelsea at Warren, NJ will be able to meet them. For more information, please call 908-903-0911 or go to