ROSELAND, NJ – South Orange Rescue Squad (SORS) member and West Essex Regional High School student Lea Backenheim was recently honored by the New Jersey Department of Health and presented with the “Outstanding Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Action by a Youth Award.”

Roseland Mayor John Duthie and members of the borough council presented the young Roseland resident with a proclamation on Tuesday recognizing her for this achievement.

The award, presented to Backenheim by two Navy Seals on Nov. 10, 2017 in Atlantic City, honors a child for a lifesaving act in which quick thinking, fast acting and heroism are demonstrated, or for a unique advocacy of EMS in New Jersey, according to Duthie. In June 2017, Backenheim and three other SORS cadets competed in the New Jersey Bayshore Cadet competition, a high school cadet EMS skills competition, where Backenheim’s team placed first out of 36 other teams and received the highest score in the history of the competition.

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“Lea is also a nationally certified first responder as well as certified in CPR and tactical emergency care,” said Duthie. “The Borough of Roseland wishes to extend our sincere appreciation for her outstanding performance. Therefore, the mayor and council and the Borough of Roseland do hereby acknowledge Lea for her devotion, dedication and service as an emergency medical servant and desire that there should be a permanent record of her accomplishments.”

After presenting Backenheim with the borough’s official commendation, Backenheim spoke about the competition, which she said was a skills test that assessed each team’s knowledge of EMS skills in live-action situations, including a traumatic injury, a car accident and a simulated CPR call.

Backenheim was joined by her family on Tuesday as she received a plaque from the mayor and council. 

The council also recognized resident Trevor Jedwabnik for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scouting program. Click HERE to read more. 

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