BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad cadets recently held their annual plant sale at the squad's Snyder Avenue headquarters. This annual fundraiser benefits Relay for Life of Berkeley Heights. Leah's Lemonade Stand was also serving her lemonade and Rice Krispies treats. 

In addition to the annual plant sale, the squad offered free "citizen" CPR classes to kick off National EMS week. The 60 minute class taught participants how to respond to a cardiac and breathing emergency in adults and children, including the use of an automated external defibrillators (AED).

The BHVRS cadets are an active group of high school students that can be seen volunteering at community events including the YMCA's Mother's Day 5K, Relay for Life, Rubber Ducky, Bikers for Brooke and much more.

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In addition to the community outreach, cadets are assigned a set crew and volunteer three hours a week. They receive monthly cadet training and they have the option to attend the EMS training sessions offered monthly. You must be 16 years of age to be considered.

Gov. Livingston senior Emily Matrone joined the program in January of her junior year. She will be attending Ithaca College in the fall to a career in the healthcare industry. 

She recommends the program to anyone entering into the health field. "It's the best thing you can volunteer with," said Matrone. "Meet as many people on the squad as you can -- they are the best people I have ever met. They have so much to teach you and so much to say." 

Once a student is accepted into the cadet program, cadets receive the following training:

  • CPR for the Professional Rescuer Training
  • Basic First Aid Training
  • EMT - Basic
  • Free Cadet uniform
  • The prospect of applying for BHVRS and other related scholarships
  • The opportunity to make a difference in our community

Matrone told TAPinto her favorite ride is helping people that aren't feeling well and need to go to the hospital. "They are reaching out to you because they need the help," said Matrone. "They are very happy that you are there and happy that you are helping them."

The BHVRS is always seeking volunteers and recently launched a new Emergency Medical Responder Course that involves 1/3 the training time of an EMT. This 40 hour training course will permit you to ride on the rescue squad and assist EMTs with medical and trauma calls.

To learn more about the BHVRS visit their website BHVRS.org.