SAYREVILLE, NJ – Middlesex County’s first Volunteer Firefighter and EMS Appreciation Day was held on Sept. 27 at the Middlesex County Fire Academy in Sayreville. This event celebrated and applauded the efforts of these volunteers throughout the county and was part of the county’s “Year of the Volunteer” celebration.  

The afternoon featured children’s activities, safety demonstrations, friendly competition between volunteers, music, food, prizes, giveaways and the unveiling of Middlesex County’s Fire Safety Video.

“We cannot thank enough our volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel, who oftentimes leave family dinners, get up in the middle of the night and disrupt their daily lives to protect our residents,” said Freeholder H. James Polos, chair of the Public Safety and Health Committee. 

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“These selfless volunteers enhance the county’s ability to prevent and respond to emergency events with efficiency and effectiveness. They are to be commended for their hard work, their dedication and their service,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios.

One of the highlights of the event was the unveiling of a 13-minute-long fire safety video, produced by Middlesex County and its Bureau of the Fire Marshal, with the help of various fire companies throughout the county. The video features tips and strategies on how to prevent fires and how to keep yourself and loved ones safe during such emergencies.  It will be shown in schools throughout Middlesex County. 

In a direct attempt to enhance the ranks of volunteer fire firefighters and emergency medical responders, the county has partnered with Middlesex County College, the Chamber of Commerce and our volunteer organizations to provide educational and financial incentives to volunteers. Legislation has been introduced to form a statewide task force on volunteer recruitment and retention after the Freeholder Board passed a resolution recommending the action.