NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - On Wednesday, July 19, campers at New Providence Recreation’s Playground camp had the opportunity to interact with police, fire and emergency medical personnel at a “First Responders Day” event.

Summer Camps Administrator Elaine Berman initiated what she hopes will be an annual camp experience.  With help from Detective Mike Hand and Lieutenant Justine Kennedy of the NP Police Department (NPPD), Deputy Chief Vincent Wycko of the NP Fire Department (NPFD), and Susan DeLuise of NP Emergency Medical Services (NPEMS), participants from each group were recruited to attend and speak.

Each guest spent time explaining their responsibilities, the jobs they perform and the training they completed.  NPFD Captains Will Zagorski and Scott Paxton spoke first to the group, followed by Bria Bernstein and Sara Costa, volunteers on the NPEMS Rescue Squad. NP Police Department’s Patrolman Joe Parlapiano finished the “First Responders” presentation.

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All the speakers were pleased about the enthusiasm of the campers who range from age 5 to age 12.  Patrolman Parlapiano shared the importance of these events. “The interaction with the kids helps us create relationships, which makes it easier for them to approach us when they need help.  Creating rapport with the kids at a younger age makes them more comfortable around us as they get older.”

In addition to the information provided by the guest speakers, each organization provided a vehicle for campers to see first-hand and up close.  Demonstrations were given while the police cruiser, fire engine, and ambulance were explored.