PLAINFIELD, NJ - The Plainfield Rescue Squad presented one of its members with the inaugural Michael Popper EMT Scholarship on Sunday, June 25.

Michael Popper lived in the Netherwood Heights section of Plainfield since 2002, and he was very involved in his community.  Most notably, he loved playing Santa each year during the holiday season, riding through the neighborhood on a Plainfield fire truck, and handing out presents to neighborhood children. 

Popper died tragically in a kayak accident he and his wife, Jennifer, had in Maine in the summer of 2016.  In lieu of flowers for his funeral, Jennifer requested that donations be made in Michael's name to the Plainfield Rescue Squad.

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The squad, in turn, created the Michael Popper EMT Scholarship, and on Sunday evening, Sue Kessen, Principal Officer, surprised Vallicia Lowe with a certificate naming Lowe as the recipient for the 2017 Spring Semester.  Kessen noted a 2017 Summer Semester recipient will be named at a later date. 

Popper, who had friends and family members in attendance, then presented Kessen with a donation towards the 2017 Fall Semester's scholarship.

The Plainfield Rescue Squad, located at 700 West 7th Street, was established in 1950, and is made up volunteers who provide emergency medical services to the citizens of Plainfield.  There are a number of ways for residents young and old to get involved; here are just a few:

  • The Explorer Program is for those age 10 to 15 years old who maintain optimal grades in school.  Once in the program, participants can take CPR/First Aid training.
  • The Cadet Program is for those 15 years of age.  Report cards must be submitted, and participants must maintain optimal grades in school.  Once in the program, Cadets must take CPR/First Aid training and can take Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) if 16 or older.  Once they meet requirements, Cadets can ride as first responders on the truck.  Cadets are able to become members at 18 years of age.
  • Auxiliary Members are adult community members who are interested in participating in the non-EMS portion of running the rescue squad, including fundraising, public relations, budgeting, public speaking, event planning, and working with Explorers to teach fundamental life skills.

To learn more about how you can volunteer, call (908) 755-0003 or visit the squad's Facebook page @PlainfieldRescueSquad.