When members of the Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad are responding to emergency calls this winter, many of them will have the Summit Area Public Foundation to thank for keeping them warm and making them more visible to on coming traffic.

“Thanks to the Summit Area Public Foundation and their generous $25,000 grant, we’ve been able to provide this protective outer ware to every member” said Captain Bill Schulz.  “This includes not only our regular members but also our newer members in training as well as our cadets. Our current jackets didn’t meet the new federal OSHA and ANSI standards for emergency responders. This meant that we were going to have to replace them at a cost of almost $500 per jacket. These jackets also have a removable liner which we’ll use in the Spring and Fall when it’s too warm to wear the jacket.”

“The Summit Area Public Foundation grant couldn’t have come at a better time.” said Howard Meyer, Chairman of the Grants Committee. “The current economy had caused cuts in funding from the Township and the State. These cuts, along with the reduction in the amount of donations received during our annual fund drive, had forced us to put a hold on capitol purchases. Additionally, new State mandates for training that have been put in place in 2012 have no State funding to cover the training costs so local volunteer squads will have to find the funding to pay for them. Without this grant, we would not have been able to move forward with this purchase.”

Our members are very thankful to the Summit Area Public Foundation and want to assure the members of the Foundation and the community that these jackets will be put to good use “, said Captain Bill Schulz.