While serving as the Mayor of Randolph, I have the pleasure to meet many residents and work with numerous local organizations that make Randolph such a special community.
The Randolph Rescue Squad is one such organization. It was formally established as an independent, volunteer rescue and first aid association in 1967, and has now been serving the Randolph community for over 50 years. I recently attended the 2020 installation dinner of the Randolph Rescue Squad and had the opportunity to learn more about the organization and meet its’ newly-elected president, Chris Zelley. Chris is a college student who has always been interested in helping others and hopes to eventually become a police officer. He joined the Randolph Rescue Squad three years ago and also serves as a volunteer firefighter in the Randolph Fire Department Company 5. Clearly, Chris is committed to serving others.
Many residents may not be aware that the Randolph Rescue Squad provides the township with basic life support services Monday through Friday, from 7:00 p.m. through 6:00 a.m. and round-the-clock on weekends. Additionally, the volunteer squad often provides back-up services during the weekday hours covered by the township’s contract with St. Clare’s. Among its many responsibilities, the Rescue Squad provides transport services to local hospitals and standby services at various community events. The Squad provides care at the scene of traffic accidents and on fire calls, at athletic fields, along the trails, in our schools and in private homes during both life threatening and non-emergency situations.
According to President Zelley, the Rescue Squad responded to a record 801 calls in Randolph Township in 2019, demonstrating what an invaluable service these volunteers provide to our community.
While many volunteer organizations are struggling to attract new members, President Zelley pointed out that the Randolph Rescue Squad has not been experiencing those challenges in spite of the heavy demands placed on the volunteer members. The Rescue Squad currently has a dedicated team of 55 active volunteer members. These members are highly trained, nationally and state-registered Emergency Medical Technicians certified in Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation, who must continue to attend training classes and pass rigorous tests, as well as keep up with current HIPPA regulations, new equipment, and life saving techniques. Rescue Squad volunteers are on call for a minimum of one overnight duty shift each week, Monday - Friday, or Sunday, and one 36-hour weekend shift Saturday from 6:00 AM to Sunday at 6:00 PM once every 6 weeks. Members must also attend meetings and drills, take courses to keep certifications current, and conduct first-aid training seminars for interested groups.
In addition to the 55 active members, the Rescue Squad has 11 junior volunteer members. Junior members are between the ages of 16 and 18 and are typically high school students who are interested in going on to study in a medical field. Volunteering with the Rescue Squad provides them with real-world experience and helps them determine if emergency medical services work is something they really want to pursue as a career. The junior member program is quite popular. In fact, there is presently a waiting list of individuals who want to join the Rescue Squad as a junior member.
Many residents are surprised to learn that the Rescue Squad does not bill for its services. Randolph Township provides funding for uniforms and supplies and also purchases and maintains a fleet of vehicles for the Rescue Squad, including three ambulances, a rescue truck and two first responder vehicles. In addition, the Squad conducts a mail campaign annually to solicit donations.
For over 50 years the Randolph Rescue Squad has exemplified the highest ideals of volunteer service to the Randolph community. I thank them for their courage, compassion and commitment to the Randolph residents. We are grateful to have them in our community.