BERNARDS TWP., NJ _ Bernards Township Mayor Carol Bianchi and the Township Committee are after three years again are hosting a “First Responders Appreciation Night” on Thursday, October 3 at the Liberty Corner Firehouse on Church Street in Liberty Corner Village.

The event will begin at 6 p.m. with a private dinner for first responders and their families followed by a public ceremony at 7:30 p.m. with coffee and dessert.

The purpose of this event is to support, celebrate, honor, and thank first responders for their service to the community, said Janice Fields, event chairperson.

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First Responders in Bernards Township include the Basking Ridge Fire Company; the Basking Ridge First Aid Squad; Liberty Corner Fire Company; Liberty Corner First Aid Squad; and the Bernards Township police department.

Fields noted that the first four organizations are staffed by volunteers and provide all emergency medical and fire services to the township.

"These organizations depend on monetary donations and volunteers to continue operating. They provide the most precious resources of all – time and energy.

Although the first aid squad volunteers will continue answering calls on nights and weekends, the township's growth, coupled with increasing demands and difficulties in reaching volunteers during the day, the Township Committee just this week approved a contract for paid ambulance service between 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays. The new service goes into effect on Oct. 1.

The event will also honor the Bernards Township police department. "The professional men and women of the BTPD respond to all emergencies 24/7 and are critical to serving and protecting our community," said the announcement for the event.

Bernards Township Committee passes resolution honoring first responders

Prior to the event, the Bernards Township Committee this past week approved a resolution honoring the first responders. 

The resolution noted that "each and every day, the Basking Ridge Fire and First Aid Company, Liberty Corner Fire Company, and Liberty Corner First Aid protect, preserve, and safeguard our community, setting the standard for unsurpassed safety and security throughout the region."

The resolution said that township police are "committed to protecting life and property, while embracing the values of continued learning, honesty, integrity, leadership, professionalism, law enforcement, and service to enhance the quality of life for the entire community."

It added that first respnders  "work tirelessly to achieve the common goal of providing our residents with the highest level of service and preparedness to respond to emergencies as they arise; and...are our first and best defense against all emergencies that threaten our community, whatever their nature.

The resolution stated that the Township of Bernards wished to "recognize and acknowledge the value of the work performed day in and day out by our first responders who dedicate every day to protecting the citizens of Bernards. The resolution concluded that the township committee supports, celebrates, honors, and thanks first responders, and declare Oct. 1 as First Responder Appreciation Day.