Giving Back

Volunteers with Westfield Rescue Squad Say ‘It’s the Experience of a Lifetime’

825104bd9541f1d9b301_DSC_1434.JPG
Westfield Rescue Squad volunteers Ignacio Castro, President Reid Edles, Vice President Lynn Feldman, Judie Caron and Jahad Leach. Credits: Jackie Lieberman
247d5ee94d2cdc422698_DSC_1435.JPG
Twenty-year-old Jahad Leach hopes that the experience he gains with the squad will help him get into medical school. Credits: Jackie Lieberman
4ddfe2c5678bf0173f5f_DSC_1436.JPG
Ignacio Castro shows off the LUCAS, which performs automated CPR. Money donated to the squad helps pay for this and other life-saving equipment. Credits: Jackie Lieberman
36bc68ccafdb1e1e323d_DSC_1437.JPG
Richard Coates, dispatcher, typically volunteers two days a week. Credits: Jackie Lieberman
825104bd9541f1d9b301_DSC_1434.JPG

WESTFIELD, NJ — It’s a Friday morning and members of the Westfield Volunteer Rescue Squad are picking up breakfast at their favorite bagel place. The squad’s vice president, Lynn Feldman, is with them this shift and, after 23 years on the squad, she knows better than to sit down at a restaurant. At any moment they might have to rush out and save someone’s life.

Back at their headquarters, volunteers chat with each other as they wait for the alarm to sound. And, sure enough, it does. A group of EMTs dashes to one of their three ambulances.

“There’s always adrenaline when you get a call. You can’t let it get the best of you,” said Ignacio Castro from behind the wheel after he sets the siren wailing. “It definitely teaches you how to deal with real-life experiences.”

Sign Up for E-News

Castro changes the sound of the siren as he cautiously drives through an intersection toward the emergency, alerting the drivers around him that the ambulance is coming through. Not all of the cars get out of the way. Castro keeps his cool—he’s used to this.

Castro and Feldman are two of more than 100 volunteers with the squad who provide people with emergency medical service and transportation to hospitals 24/7, always for free, mostly in Westfield but also in surrounding towns, when needed.

When they’re not volunteering, some of the squad’s volunteers are medical professionals, but not all. Some are students. Some are retirees. Others just love helping people. All work for free, for a minimum of 5 hours a week.

The squad receives about 200 calls a month, according to Feldman. They have at least one crew on call at all times, but currently there are not enough volunteers to keep two crews on during all shifts.

“We could certainly use more people,” said Feldman. “There are a lot of wonderful people here at the squad and a lot of intangible benefits.”

“Being an EMT is one of the best experiences of my life. I’ve pretty much seen everything. Some stories have a happy ending. Some don’t. But if you love this job, you understand,” said Castro.

When you train with the rescue squad, “You learn lifelong skills that you can use anywhere, any time,” said Feldman. “You’re benefiting your community, you’re benefiting your family and friends and you feel competent when there’s an emergency.”

Twenty-year-old Jahad Leach, who is in training with the squad to become a full member, joined so that he could get experience that he hopes will help him get into medical school.

“I like it so far. It’s good experience,” said Leach. “You kind of don’t learn it until you actually experience it.”

Not everyone with the squad is an EMT. About 35 members work as dispatchers, including Richard Coates, who volunteers two days a week. Coates joined 10 years ago, when he left his job as a dispatcher for the police department.

“I wanted to continue to contribute,” said Coates. “So I came here. It puts you in the middle of things. You stay in touch with the town.”

Volunteers also enjoy the sense of comraderie that comes with serving on the squad.

“We are a family. We take care of each other,” said Feldman. That may explain why members often stay with the squad for decades—at least one member has been with them for 40 years, according to Feldman.

Volunteers do not need to be from Westfield, but living locally is considered a plus. There is no age requirement, but you must hold a New Jersey driver’s license to join as an EMT. Dispatchers must have completed their sophomore year in high school.

“It doesn’t require a lot of hours after you complete your initial training,” said Feldman. “This is your community. Come out and help.”

To find out more about joining the Westfield Rescue Squad, call 908-233-2500.

Though none of its members are paid, the squad relies on donations to cover expenses including maintaining ambulances, purchasing new ambulances, life-saving equipment and supplies and maintaining the squad’s 60-year-old building, which had some big plumbing expenses this year, Feldman said. This year, the squad also needs to renovate its bay doors to accommodate new ambulances, which are taller.

To donate, send a check to PO BOX 356, Westfield, NJ  07091 with “Fund Drive” written in the memo.

Learn more at www.westfieldrescuesquad.org.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

County of Union to Fly Rainbow Flag for the First Time on June 4

May 23, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ — A rainbow flag will fly for the first time at the Union County Courthouse in recognition of June as LGBTQ Pride Month.

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders has announced they are holding a public Pride Flag Raising Ceremony for Monday, June 4 at 1 p.m. on the steps of the historic Union County Courthouse on Broad Street in Elizabeth.

“Raising the rainbow ...

Open Letter to Dr. Dolan & Westfield High School Administration About Graduation

May 23, 2018

Editor's note: The following is a response to a letter sent to parents from Westfield High School Principal Derrick Nelson telling parents that, due to the potential of Kehler Field being re-turfed, this year’s graduation will be held on the back field behind Westfield High School, with the inclement weather location the varsity gymnasium. The letter tells parents ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, May 26, 9:00 AM

Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield

Aunt Carrie's Attic Sale

Other

Carousel_image_d58a47f28bf47b0c40d6_spb-4937_newsletter_june_24

Sat, May 26, 12:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Southern Maryland Blue ...

Sports

Carousel_image_8cd695f8ea6f03939eb0_mini_magick20180405-26868-1g02rrv

Mon, May 28, 9:00 AM

Westfield

Memorial Day Parade

Westfield Police Blotter: Package Stolen from Porch, Shoplifting & More

May 23, 2018

May 15, 2018 11:40 a.m.

A resident of Vernon Terrace reported the theft of a package from their front porch on May 12, 2018 between 11:40 a.m. and 5 p.m.

 

May 19, 2018 1:16 p.m.

Rhonda Boston, age 32, of Newark, NJ was arrested on the strength of an outstanding warrant for her arrest from Westfield Municipal Court in the amount of $580. Subject was picked up at New Jersey State ...

Obituaries

Eric Lieberman, 47, of Scotch Plains, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Tuesday, May 22, 2018 ...
Read more

Union County 4-H Teens Pitch in for Geology Open House

May 25, 2018

Members of the Union County 4-H Teen Service Club volunteered as docents at the Rutgers Geology Museum last Saturday for a National Science Foundation program called In Search of Earth’s Secrets: A Pop-Up Science Encounter.

The students helped visitors navigate the interactive exhibits, as part of a collaborative project including the Rutgers University Department of Marine & Coastal ...

Westfield's Wilson School Receives Surprise Visit from Governor Murphy

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy took a few moments out of a busy schedule to drop in on a 5th grade class at Wilson School in Westfield on Thursday, May 24.

“Fifth grade is one of the coolest grades,” said the governor as he greeted the students.  “What are you studying today?”

A brief discussion of the formulas for surface area and volume needed to build an ...

There are Really 3 Reason Buyers Choose the Homes They Buy

Susan Massa Broker Associate CRS SRES ABR 

Keller Williams Premier Properties 188 Elm St Westfield NJ 07090

488 Springfield Ave, Summit, NJ 07901

908-400-0778 cell

www.summitwestfieldhomes.com     www.NJHomeshowcase.com

susan@susanmassa.com

Dedicated to Excellence, Dedicated to You “Your Home Your Realtor”

download my smart phone app ...

Ask Maria: How can I help my son? 

Q: My son's best friend's mom just passed away. I am concerned for my son and don't know what to do for him. He is distraught. How can I help my son? 

Response:

Grief is a normal and natural reaction to the death of a loved one. No two people grieve the same, even in the family. I am certain that your son’s friend and mom are like family to your son. Losing his ...

Dog Missing from Fanwood Home

UPDATE: Reunited with owner!

ORIGINAL POST: Lexi was seen north side of Fanwood Thursday. She's 25 lbs., tall and looks like a fox.

Lexi is friendly and was wearing a collar with a tag. Call 732-259-5570 if you spot her.

IRS Grants Relief for Taxpayers Affected by Reduction of Maximum Deductible HSA Contributions

The IRS recently announced relief for taxpayers with family coverage under a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) who contribute to a Health Savings Account (HSA).

 

For 2018, taxpayers with family coverage under an HDHP may treat $6,900 as the maximum deductible HSA contribution.

 

The annual amount had been reduced to $6,850 for 2018 under the Tax Cuts and Jobs ...

TAPinto Featured Franchisee: Steve Lenox of TAPinto Paterson

This week's feature will focus on TAPinto Paterson's franchisee, Steve Lenox. Find out how the current owner of a public affairs firm went from a former State Director for Senator Frank Lautenberg to a proud TAPinto franchisee for New Jersey's third largest city.

 

Q. When did you join TAPinto.net?

I joined TAPinto.net in September, ...

‘Chambers USA 2018’ Recognizes John Schmidt Among List of America’s Leading Lawyers for Business

Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper is pleased to announce that John H. Schmidt has once again been recognized by “Chambers USA” in their annual list of leading lawyers for business. Chambers and Partners, which produces “Chambers USA,” is a client referral organization that researches and subjectively ranks attorneys and law firm practice groups nationwide ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

Capitalist or Communist?

Karl Marx may have been the pioneer, but many other Jews were also involved in the struggle for communism, particularly in the early days of the Russian revolution. Personally, I don’t think that we have any apologies to make for this phenomenon. Having suffered unbearably under successive oppressive regimes, many of those political activists genuinely thought communism would be better ...

Stocks Can Rise in a Rising Interest Rate Environment

Investors remain concerned about the potential impact of higher interest rates on stocks. In their most recently released minutes, the Federal Reserve Open Markets Committee indicated the US economy is on solid footing and the economic conditions warrant continued gradual increasing of interest rates. This set off a sale in the stock and bond markets as investors began pricing in a fourth ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!

 

Vehicular Homicide Charges for Driver of Paramus School Bus

May 24, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ — The driver of a school bus involved in a crash on Route 80 last week that killed two people faces two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide/death by auto, it was announced today.

The driver, Hudy Muldrow, 77, of Woodland Park, attempted to make an illegal U-Turn on the highway in an attempt to find his way to Waterloo Village, the planned destination of the bus that ...