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Summit First Aid Squad Volunteers Receive Valor Award

(L-R) Summit First Aid Squad Captain Kari Phair, Mel Harari, Patty Herzog and Mayor Ellen Dickson. Credits: John Staunton

At this week’s City Council meeting, 2 members of the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad were honored for their actions at a construction site emergency in December.   

On December 28th, 2011, the First Aid Squad was dispatched for a patient with chest pain at the Jewish Community Center on Kent Place Blvd, which has been undergoing renovation.  The crew, consisting of Mel Harari and Patty Herzog, learned upon arrival that their patient was on the roof and that due to construction, there was no direct access. 

Needing to urgently get to the patient, Mel and Patty climbed into the bucket of a Front End loader with their equipment and were lifted to a lower roof.  They then climbed a ladder with their gear to a second roof to meet the patient.  By the time they reached the top roof the patient had no pulse.

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They immediately took over CPR from Summit Police Officers who were on scene, continued AED procedures, and requested assistance from Summit Fire to help bring the patient to the awaiting ambulance and a team of Paramedics at street level.  The patient was secured and lowered in a “basket stretcher”, placed in the ambulance, and transported to Overlook Medical Center.

Mel Harari joined the squad in 2009 after two of her sons had already joined.  Mel volunteers on both the Wednesday Day and Friday Day Crews.  Since joining the squad, Mel has never hesitated to perform extra duty and has never refused to help with any task.  For last two years she has served as Records Lieutenant.

Patty Mallon Herzog joined the squad in 1976 as a Junior Member.  She left in 1990 to start a family.  Patty re-joined the Squad in 2010 and has become a very active member of the Squad and the Wednesday Day Crew.

At the Council meeting, Patty and Mel received an exceptional service award from Mayor Ellen Dickson and were also awarded the Medal of Valor by Squad Captain Kari Phair.

Squad President John Christmann thanked Mayor Dickson for honoring the Squad members at a Council meeting.  “Although our members respond to almost 2,000 calls each year, their particular efforts on that call to the Jewish Community Center were over and above what is required by our EMT member volunteers”, said Mr. Christmann.

The all volunteer First Aid Squad is always looking for new members to join its ranks. All needed training, uniforms and equipment is provided. For information, please call 908-277-9479, or visit their web site at:

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