HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - The Rotary Club of Hillsborough has donated $3,000 to the Hillsborough Fire Marshal office for the purchase of equipment to be used by the recently-formed Rescue Task Force that would be deployed in the event of an active shooter incident or or civil unrest.

The RTF is similar to other such units that were formed in California, Florida, Connecticut and other states in the wake of school shootings. The Hillsborough rescue team is the first of its kind in Somerset County.

The RTF has undergone extensive training and operates in collaboration with the Hillsborough Police Department. In July, the RTF was deployed as part of a practice drill at the Auten Road School.  The elaborate and realistic drill involved two complex scenarios of an active shooter inside the school and multiple victims that needed to be treated and removed to safety outside the building.

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Fire Marshal Dave Foelsch and Chief Fire Marshal Chris Weniger attended a recent meeting of the Rotary Club of Hillsborough to inform members about the RTF, and to accept the Rotary donation which was used to purchase special armored vests and helmets..

 “We pray that we will never be deployed,” Foelsch said, “but we recognize that we live in a world where such incidents occur and we must be ready to deal with them effectively.”

Greg Burchette, Rotary Club of Hillsborough president, expressed the Club’s gratitude for the formation of the team and the members who are prepared to put themselves in harm’s way in order to ensure that shooting victims have the maximum opportunity to receive life-saving care.

“We wish there was no need for such a team in Hillsborough, or anywhere else.  However, we are glad to be in a position to support the formation of this important unit,” Burchette said.

The Rotary Club of Hillsborough has over 40 active members from Hillsborough and surrounding communities.   Members include business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.  All funds raised by The Rotary Club of Hillsborough are used to support a wide variety of community service organizations and projects. The Rotary Club of Hillsborough meets every Wednesday, at 6:15 pm, at The Landing Restaurant in Hillsborough.