Today, on “EMS Recognition Day” of National EMS Week, the Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad (BHVRS) is continuing its celebration of EMS practitioners and the important work they do for our nation's communities. On this day of recognition, the BHVRS would like to highlight some of those who have shown resiliency, strength, determination, compassion, dedication, and empathy during these challenging times to the Berkeley Heights community at large. 

First responders throughout the nation have been at the frontlines of the pandemic. The BHVRS appreciates all the police, fire, and EMS personnel that have dedicated themselves to their communities to combat COVID-19. Like these first responders, physicians, nurses, technicians, and other healthcare professionals have been working long hours in extremely vulnerable conditions to protect our loved ones and help them fight the virus. We thank all these professionals, in and outside of Berkeley Heights. 

Thirteen EMS responders in New Jersey have lost their lives due to COVID-19 including Liana Sa formerly of the Watchung Rescue Squad. EMS personnel have come from other states to help the NJ/NY area and other hotspots. These professionals have left their family and friends to help their “neighbors” battle this crisis. One Paramedic, Paul Cary of Colorado, left his hometown to lend a helping hand to the State of New York’s COVID Response team. Unfortunately, he passed away from complications from the coronavirus. The BHVRS would like to honor and pay tribute to Paul Cary and all the brave individuals throughout our country that have made such incredible sacrifices to combat the coronavirus. 

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Near and dear to the hearts of the BHVRS are our high school cadet members. Especially this year, we would like to recognize and show appreciation for our Class of 2020 Cadet members. Our Class of 2020 Cadet members include (left to right in the photo below holding their college destinations) Zoe O’Halloran, Megan Knecht, Carla Arca-Sedda, Kira Lu, Megan Collins, Deana Rodrigues, Jessica Poulos and Christopher Poulos.  These individuals have dedicated themselves to weekly shifts throughout the school year, despite their busy high school schedules. They remained passionate, driven, and dedicated to the BHVRS and showed their love for learning in the EMS field. These individuals proved critical on emergency calls and to squad events. We thank these Senior Cadets immensely. 

Finally, there is one very special “Squad Member-In-Training,” Leah of Leah’s Lemonade Stand. Since a very young age, Leah has raised an enormous amount of money for the BHVRS through lemonade stands, where she sells her signature lemonade and delicious treats. Even during this crisis, Leah is raising money for the BHVRS so that we can continue to fight the pandemic. Here is a great video created by Leah, which highlights her recent fundraising efforts for the BHVRS ( Thank you, Leah, and we cannot wait to have you on the squad one day!

With all of that, we would like to thank our local Berkeley Heights community at large for all their support during this challenging time. We have received countless donations, goody bags, food items, medical supplies, flowers, and delicious treats for our squad members. We cannot thank you all enough. Thank you for joining us on this National EMS Week and recognizing our nation’s heroes during this pandemic. Be well, Berkeley Heights!

If you are interested in learning more about what we do and how we do it, please visit And, if you have ever thought about volunteering with the rescue squad, now is the time! Email for more details.