BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Berkeley Heights Rescue Squad recently participated in the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) competition, for the Governor Livingston Chapter. The FBLA is a non-profit educational student association whose goal is to ensure students develop the leadership skills and business knowledge needed to progress in any career. Winners of the event earned a chance to contend in the state level competition, in Atlantic City, NJ. Through the FBLA membership awards program, participants can earn recognition on the local, state, and national level.        

Gov. Livingston senior Nicole Segalini and Mary DiPasquale, two representatives from the Berkeley Heights Rescue Squad, conducted a presentation on the rewards of service through the Rescue Squad.

They first explained who they are, NJ State Certified EMTs and local community members; as well as, what they do: volunteer 911 responders, covering the town's emergency medical needs 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

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Segalini and DiPasquale also spoke about their most rewarding moments in the rescue squad.

"My most memorable moment was when I took my first patient to the hospital," said Segalini. "I rode in the back of the ambulance with our patient, an older woman, who was appreciative of our service. I'll never forget how grateful she was, and how amazing it was to watch my crew be so caring towards this woman they just met. That call made me realize why we do what we do, and I want to grow up to be just as talented and caring as my crew.”

DiPasquale said, “My most memorable moment was when we helped an older woman who had hurt her hip, and the woman was strong enough to pull herself up the stairs to get to a phone. It showed me how crucial our job is, how strong the residents of our town are, and it made me emotional since because of the 9-1-1 system, she knew she could just dial 3 numbers and then be in good hands. It's an important duty to me to be a part of the support behind those numbers."

While they are volunteers, the duo described the intense training involved in becoming a volunteer rescue squad member. A minimum of 150 hours of class is required, with an additional 10 hours of work in an Emergency room, and finally passing all exams.

The presentation also included several community involvements, such as, Mt. Caramel Fair, Winter Walk, and blood drives. The rescue squad’s latest project is a donation collection for the Backpacks for Life, a startup organization with the mission of “providing homeless veterans with things they cannot provide for themselves.

Community members wanting to help can donate and deliver toiletries and supplies, such as, hand sanitizers, hand warmers, and socks to the following locations: all Berkeley Heights Public Schools; Berkeley Heights Public Library; Pure Movement Dance Center, 111 Industrial Road, Berkeley Heights; DeFabio Chiropractic, Spine & Sports Rehab, 308 Springfield Ave. #1, Berkeley Heights; Advyzom LLC, 335 Snyder Ave., Berkeley Heights; ReNew Salon&Spa, 550 Mountain Ave., Gillette.

 All donations are needed by Friday, Dec. 16.