The slate of 2020 elected officers was presented by the Chatham Emergency Squad at its annual Officer Installation Dinner held Saturday night at the Wyndham Hotel in Florham Park. Serving their second year in their positions are Steve Davenport (Captain), Joanne Howden (Personnel VP), Mike Lemons (Operations Lieutenant), Abigail Maddi (Secretary), Jim Martin (Equipment Lieutenant), Evan Skinner (President), Jeff Stanton (Facilities VP) and Cathy Warbrick (Finance VP). Newly elected officers this year include Craig Alperowitz (Communications VP) and Nicole DiMaggio (Training Lieutenant).
The Squad also recognized several members for their continuous years of service. Carol Grant, Tom Patterson, Kumar Paul, Evan Skinner and Carole Wilmot were recognized for 5 years of service, and Steve Davenport was recognized for 15 years of service. In addition, 30 members of the Chatham Emergency Squad were recognized for earning 100 Length of Service Awards Points (LOSAP) which is a New Jersey State incentive program recognizing volunteers who actively serve their regular and weekend shifts, and positively contribute through additional volunteer hours.
The evening’s tone of appreciation to its membership base for the past year of service was captured by President Evan Skinner’s opening remarks. “There are a lot of Squads in New Jersey, but there aren’t many like ours. There aren’t many all-volunteer squads that can cover 10 calls in a 12-hour Thursday day shift, including a mutual aid to another town. There aren’t many all-volunteer squads who could cover 2 or 3 simultaneous calls 108 times in a year. And there aren’t many all-volunteer Squads who can attract 9 new members in a single year. But we can - and we did.”
Special Recognition for Peter Herslow
The evening was also marked by standing ovations for Peter Herslow, who recently announced his retirement following 36 years of active service. In addition to serving as President (1999, 2000), Captain (1993, 1994) and many other roles throughout his tenure with the Squad, Herslow is perhaps best known for teaching thousands of Chatham residents, teachers, police, fire and Squad members how to perform effective CPR.
Past Chatham Emergency Squad officers Jerry Medina, Ricky D’Costa and Rich Crater along with fellow crew member Dave Elliot paid tribute to Peter’s dedication to the Squad and the Chatham community recalling their time riding with and learning from Herslow.
“It’s impossible to know how many lives have been saved thanks to Peter’s devotion as an active Squad member and proponent of effective CPR instruction,” said Jerry Medina, auxiliary member and former Captain of the Chatham Emergency Squad (2002, 2003) “Although he is retired from active service, Peter’s work is not yet complete. Undoubtedly, he will continue to serve the residents of Chatham by training them in effective CPR, which in turn will continue to save countless lives.”
The Christine K. Grobert Chatham Emergency Squad Scholarship Award
During the ceremony, the evening was further marked by the formal renaming of the CHS Scholarship Award to henceforth be known as the “Christine K. Grobert Chatham Emergency Squad Scholarship Award.”
Established in 2014 by Christine Grobert while serving as President of the Chatham Emergency Squad (2014, 2015), the annual award is presented to a Chatham High School student who has been committed to volunteerism in the Chatham Community and/or has displayed an interest in the field of medicine or science.
The renaming of the award honors Grobert, who retired from active service in December 2019 after 21 years of dedicated service. During her tenure, Grobert held many positions beyond that of President, including Vice President for Social & Communications, Secretary, Uniforms Manager, Archivist, Weekend Crew Chief and more. Grobert was also the recipient of the 2019 EMT Excellence Awards by Overlook Medical Center.
“Being a teacher in the Chatham School District, and as our former President, Christine had the foresight to help students reach their potential by formulating this scholarship 6 years ago,” said Skinner. “She represents the best of the Chatham Emergency Squad for her years of service and countless positions held. It’s only appropriate that we cement her legacy by naming this scholarship in her honor,” she added.
Representatives from the Chatham Borough Council, Chatham Borough Fire Department, Chatham Borough Police Department, Chatham Township Committee, Chatham Township Police Department, Chatham Township Volunteer Fire Department, Green Village Volunteer Fire Department, Madison Volunteer Ambulance Corps, New Vernon First Aid Squad and New Vernon Fire Department were all in attendance at the annual celebration. In addition to being present, the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad responded to calls in Chatham overnight so that all Chatham Emergency Squad members could have the evening to celebrate.
The Chatham Emergency Squad is an all-volunteer organization funded nearly exclusively by donations. In 2019 the Chatham Emergency Squad responded to 1246 emergency calls in Chatham Township and Chatham Borough and provided mutual aid to neighboring communities of New Vernon, Madison and Summit on occasion. Chatham Emergency Squad never charges for its services. The Squad provides stand-by support for community events, such as the Chatham Turkey Trot, Fishawack, and school athletic events. The Squad also provided free CPR training to more than 400 residents, teachers, coaches, school crossing guards and emergency personnel, including fire and police. To learn more, to donate or to volunteer, please visit