NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – There is always a certain amount of pomp and ceremony at the borough’s annual reorganization meeting honoring accomplishments of employees and volunteers.
While the evening is a demonstration of local democracy, it’s also a celebration of unselfish achievement which penetrates the fiber of the community.
Opening the evening’s festivities, the New Providence Police Department Color Guard, in dress uniform, smartly marches down the middle aisle of Borough Council Chambers to lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
Former Governor Donald DiFrancesco administered the oath-of-office to councilmen Michael Gennaro, Robert Munoz and Jim Madden.
Also on hand to celebrate the evening were Senator Tom Kean, Assemblyman Jon Bramnick and Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz who jointly congratulated the borough on its many achievements and wished residents a Happy New Year.
Chief Ralph Parlapiano of the Volunteer Fire Department introduced newly elected officers who were garbed in dress uniform. “During 2013, we responded to 276 calls including four structural fires,” he said.
Also in formal uniforms, Sue DeLuise introduced officers of the Rescue Squad. DeLuise told the large audience that the organization was always looking for new members.
One of the many highlights during the evening was the presentation by Mayor J. Brooke Hern and Police Chief Anthony Buccelli for exemplary police work.
Life-saving awards were presented to five police officers and a dispatcher for their efforts in saving three lives in 2013.
During the evening of May 9, patrols were dispatched to a Door Road residence on the report of a child choking and not breathing.
Responding to the call were Detectives Sean Bubb and Stephen Drown who arrived at the residence and quickly determined the youngster had an object obstructing his airway and immediately performed the Heimlich maneuver. The object was expelled and the child resumed breathing.
For their efforts, Bubb and Drown saved a life and were awarded the Police Life Saving Award.
On the evening of Nov. 12, Corporal Dennis Carovillano and Patrolman Joseph Parlapiano were dispatched on a report of a woman who had fallen and couldn’t get up. Arriving at the scene, the officers found a woman who had no pulse or respiration.
The officers immediately administered CPR and attached an automated external defibrillator. After four cycles of CPR, the woman spontaneously began to breathe with a restored pulse.
Chief Buccelli said that though their efforts the officers saved a life and were presented a Police Life Saving Award.
Most residents are unaware that police dispatchers who respond to emergency calls are well versed in providing possible life saving instructions over the telephone.
Last November, Dispatcher Nicholas Guerriero received a 9-1-1 call of an adult choking female. He immediately gave instructions to another adult on how to perform the Heimlich maneuver where the object was expelled and the woman resumed breathing.
“Through his training and proficiency as a dispatcher, Nick saved a life and is awarded a Life Saving Award,” Chief Buccelli said.
Being a police officer is a 24/7 job regardless whether you’re patrolling the streets of New Providence or off duty in another community. A case in point is Patrolman Andrew Diamond, while off duty, was traveling through Union Township when he observed a male run from a bank and enter an awaiting vehicle. Suspicious of the behavior, Diamond followed the suspects as he relayed information to Union Township Police. The suspects were subsequently stopped a short time later and arrested for armed bank robbery.
During the late afternoon on October 26, a borough resident walking to work was robbed at knifepoint by two suspects.
Detective Stephen Drown investigated the incident along with members of the Summit Police Department who had experienced similar criminal activity in their community during the same time-frame.
After a comprehensive investigation by all of the detectives involved, two dangerous criminals were arrested and charged with committing the armed robbery in New Providence and many other criminal offenses in adjoining communities. For his efforts, Drown was awarded the Police Honorable Service Award.