On Saturday, February 19, 2022, the Scotch Plains Rescue Squad honored Harold Hill, Jr. at its annual installation dinner. Many people in town know what a great man he is, but they and others may not have any idea just how much he has done for not only our small part of the world, but for our country at large.
Born on July 29, 1933, to Peggy and Harold Hill Sr., he grew into a strapping young man towering over many others. At the age of 17, Harold joined the United States Marines Corps and that hard-core discipline and call to duty seeped into his blood and never wavered. Even though he was injured (he received the prestigious Purple Heart for his bravery), he never regretted signing up to do what he felt was right.
Years later, after serving as a police officer, Harold followed in the footsteps of his father, one of the founding members of the Scotch Plains Rescue Squad. That was on April 4, 1958, and now, 64 years later, he is still serving the township and its people, who have always held a special place in his heart.
The only thing more important to Harold is family. That includes children, grandchildren, and especially his beloved late wife, Marilyn. His extended family, of course, includes his squad brothers and sisters who have answered the calls for help right alongside him, often looking for his guidance in the toughest situations. With 14,500 calls under his belt, there’s not much Harold hasn’t seen during his time on the squad.
He has held every officer position, serving as Captain, President, Vice President, and Lieutenant, and was the Treasurer for 30+ years. He was made a life member by his peers in 1983 and was honored by Overlook Hospital. He has received many other accolades as well such as the Knights of Columbus Award for Excellence in Emergency Service and the Scotch Plains Male Volunteer of the Year in 1991.
The Scotch Plains Rescue Squad has been fortunate to have such a great man as not only a member, but as a wonderful mentor and friend. Here’s to many more years of doing what he loves. Thank you Harold!
Written by Sue Baldani, a life member of the Scotch Plains Rescue Squad.