RANDOLPH, NJ- The Randolph Rescue Squad recently held their annual installation dinner for 2020, announcing their new board members and handing out awards to members for their accomplishments in the 2019 year.

Of particular note this year, the squad recognized three outstanding CPR saves, where the patients survived and are all doing well. Two of the survivors attended the dinner, speaking at the podium to thank the paramedics who came to their rescue.

Chris Ray, a lifelong resident of Randolph who graduated from RHS in 1985, was one of the lucky rescues.

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“Though I have not previously been in a situation where the Randolph EMS was needed, I have seen them helping friends in my neighborhood many times over the years,” said Ray.  “When I had my heart attack, they were there so fast and reacted with no hesitation which I'm sure saved my life and helped me recover quickly. The dedication and self-sacrifice they display in helping others helps make Randolph such a great place to live.”

Twenty-two-year-old Bradley Phelps is new to the area, having recently moved to New Jersey.  Like Ray, he was fortunate that the Randolph EMS team arrived quickly to his emergency.

“It is difficult to put into words the gravity of what the EMS members did for me,” said Phelps. “The classic phrase is they ‘saved my life’ – But I re-frame that to say that they gave me life. They gave me more time on Earth with my family and friends. They gave me more time to experience the world and try to create my place in the world, and for that I am eternally grateful.”

Both got up to speak at the dinner, thanking the crews who came to their rescue, while exchanging handshakes and hugs with each one.

“To be a part of a CPR save is an amazing and uplifting feeling, but it is even more rewarding when your patient is young and still has so much life ahead of them,” said EMS member Caitlin Costello. “All I could think was, ‘this kid is my age’… I'm only 22 years old, I'm in school, I just started my career and I have so much planned for my life. I could never comprehend that being taken away from me and I definitely didn't want it to be taken away from Brad.”

Costello joined the Randolph EMS at the beginning of 2016, after graduating from RHS in 2015.  She currently works for the Atlantic Health System in the Morristown Emergency Department as a Patient Care Technician while finishing nursing school this May.

“When we got Brad's pulse back it was a huge relief, but we knew that we needed to get him to a hospital quickly in order to maintain our hard work,” said Costello.  “Being in a situation of life and death is extremely difficult, but our crews make it seem easy because we come prepared with our equipment, our knowledge, and our great members.  Our crew handled that call, as well as the other CPR saves, with pride and intuition, which made for a flawless execution of life saving measures.”

The number of saves on a percentage basis is more impressive than one might initially think.

“The survival rate for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests is 3-5 percent, and we had three in just over two months,” said Randolph EMS Lieutenant Todd Houston.  “Consider we do less than 10 CPR calls a year, that’s a fantastic resuscitation rate.  Granted, there’s a lot of people who work together to make that happen, but the system clearly works.”

There currently are 60 volunteer members on the Randolph Rescue Squad ages 16-85. Anyone who is interested in joining can email info@randolphrescue.org or message the Facebook page @RandolphRescueSquad, or apply on our website www.randolphrescue.org.

Donations are graciously accepted via mail to 780 rt. 10 West, via paypal through our website, or through our annual fund drive.