The Scotch Plains Rescue Squad wouldn’t exist without its volunteers who answer calls day and night, on weekends and holidays. One of these volunteers, Daniel Sullivan, is now being recognized for all he does for his community. Mayor Al Smith will issue a proclamation naming Dan the Scotch Plains Male Volunteer of the Year at the town council meeting on September 15. The actual award will be given on Scotch Plains Day on October 4.
Dan is one of the rescue squad’s longest active members. Joining just shy of his 16th birthday, he will celebrate his 50th anniversary with the organization on September 16. Through the years, he has answered 12,717 calls to date and has held various positions, including President (current), Captain, 1st Vice President, 1st Lieutenant, and Delegate (current).
When New York City was attacked on September 11, 2001, he was one of the members who responded to calls for help in the days following this tragedy. More recently, he took on many additional shifts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dan was born in Westfield, moved with his family to Fanwood in 1956, and then moved to Scotch Plains in 1959, where he has lived ever since. His parents and two out of three siblings are now deceased.
“As a resident, my family instilled in us that the community provides things, but that you have to give back,” he says. “Because of my mother and father’s instilled values I continue to serve.”
He and his wife, Judith, who will be celebrating their 42nd wedding anniversary in December, raised their son Sean and daughter Erin in Scotch Plains. Dan works as a Clinical Data Analyst for Hackensack Meridian Health / JFK University Medical Center.
The best part about being an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) on the Scotch Plains Rescue Squad, he says, is helping people who need assistance.
“As a member of our squad, it is rewarding that you are making a difference in a patient’s life,” says Dan. “You actually could be the reason that the person is alive to live another day.”
Besides his full-time job and duties on the squad, Dan also generously gives his time to an impressive list of organizations. He is:
- Vice President of the Northern NJ Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA),
- Ambulance Standards Chair on the Emergency Medical Services Council of NJ,
- Adjutant/Secretary for the 102nd Cavalry Regiment Association -The Essex Troop,
- Appointed member of the Scotch Plains Township Zoning Board of Adjustment,
- Appointed Member of the New Jersey State Emergency Medical Service for Children Council, and
- Volunteer EMS Representative with the NJ State Emergency Medical Services Basic Life Support Committee.
He was also a member of the Westfield Rescue Squad for a number of years where he answered 2,389 calls, and is a significant contributor to Friends of Valley Brook, a veterans’ assistance organization. Dan served in the Army Reserve and National Guard as well.
Even with all of these accomplishments, Dan was still surprised when Mayor Smith contacted him about the award.
“I was actually shocked and speechless when I got the call,” he says. “I am truly humbled. We have a great team at our squad that is not only a team, but is also family. When I joined, I figured I would volunteer for a couple of years. But now it’s been 50 and I’m still volunteering.”
Congratulations to Dan on the recognition of all he has done throughout his life to give to others. He is a man who truly deserves this award.