PLAINFIELD, NJ - The Plainfield Rescue Squad will hold an Open House event on Saturday, May 20, and the public is invited to meet the EMTs, tour the building, and check out the inside of an ambulance.

Learn what you should do as First Responders simulate a motor vehicle accident, and hear from the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) on how to prepare for a disaster.

The Plainfield Health Department will be on hand to conduct health screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar, and HIV testing will be done by Iris House.

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TAPinto Plainfield caught up with Principal Officer Sue Kessen to learn more about the Rescue Squad, and how the public can get involved.

TAPinto Plainfield:   What are the qualifications needed to become a part of the EMS Cadet Corp, Auxiliary and Explorer programs?

Kessen:  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 also take Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) if 16 or older.  Once CPR certified and report card grades excepted per marking period, 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.

Membership applications will be available at the event for each of these programs.

TAPinto Plainfield:  Does the Plainfield Rescue Squad provide CPR training?

Kessen:  The Plainfield Rescue Squad provides CPR and First Aid training generally on the second Saturday of the month, depending on enrollment.  We can schedule a group class, if required.  Additionally, we provide weekly training to our Cadets, Explorers, EMR and EMT Members in both EMS and life skills.

Two times per year, we provide eight weeks of training for CPR/First Aiders in Emergency Medical Response, which is a stepping stone to an EMT curriculum.  EMR training is free to CPR/First Aid members of the Squad and is offered to the public for a fee.

TAPinto Plainfield:  Can you expand more on Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT?

Kessen:  CERT members give critical support to first responders in emergencies, provide immediate assistance to victims, organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site, and collect disaster intelligence to support first responder efforts.

By joining CERT, you receive basic level training in:

  • Emergency preparedness
  • Disaster medical operations
  • Fire suppression
  • Light search and rescue operations
  • CERT operations/incident command system
  • Disaster psychology
  • Terrorism awareness
  • Disaster simulation - skills review

Refreshments will be available at the event from local vendors, and there will be games and prizes, too. 

The event is from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, and the Plainfield Rescue Squad is located at 700 West 7th Street at Spooner Avenue.