SPRINGFIELD, NJ — The spirit of volunteerism was on full display Saturday night when the Westfield Volunteer Rescue Squad kicked off its 69th year of service with an annual dinner dance at the Hilton Garden Inn.

The squad answered 1,978 calls in 2019, according to their records, and gave 1,473 free trips to the hospital. Its members covered multiple events, including Spring Fling, FestiFall, AddamsFest, the Pizza Run, the Turkey Trot, Greta’s Run, the Westfield Area YMCA 5K Run for Everyone, the Hangover Run and Westfield High School home games. And they did it all without pay.

“This is a night to thank our riding members, our associates and dispatchers and active honorary members for their tireless effort to provide emergency medical services to the town of Westfield and the surrounding areas,” said WVRS President David Sloan.

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“We’re incredibly grateful for everything that you do for the town,” said Mayor Shelley Brindle before she swore in the squad’s officers for 2020: President David Sloan, Vice President Estelle Cervantes, Treasurer Kendall Hagan, Asst. Treasurer Jenna Helfand, Secretary Elise Daniledes, Chief Sergio Guzman, Deputy Chief: Tremain Ellis, Ambulance Lt. Daniel Faldraga, Equipment Lt. Eric Taylor, Training Lt. Jessica Romero and Scheduling Lt. Melissa Endy.

Several awards were handed out that night:

EMT of the year: Art Cooke

Most pager calls: Art Cooke

Dispatcher/Associate of the year: Janice Brzozowski

Probationary member of the year: Gianna Ricerca

EMT/Riding members Length of Service Awards: Sergio Guzman: 5 years; Steven Korba: 5 years.

Dispatcher/Associate Length of Service Awards: Candy Jackovino, 10 years; Richard “Dick” Kenyon, 10 years; Jim Sadowski, 10 years; Deborah Bash,15 years; Chris Beck, 20 years; Bob D'Arecca, 20 years; Bob Jankowitz, 25 years; and Bobbee Mulvee, 25 years.

CPR saves: Kim Braun (two saves), Nicolas Carayannopoulos, Sophia Vera, Brayan Zambrano, Catalina Canelo Arun Gopalakrishnan, Zachary Hom, Zackary Bakhtin Valentina Chacon Castro (two saves), Jessica Romero (two saves), Stephen Becker, Tremain Ellis, Abigail Dupre and Paola Giacometti.

Special awards also went to Fire Chief Anthony Tiller in honor of his appointment as fire chief and to Stephen Jennings, an Eagle Scout who built a new shed to house the squad’s equipment.

David Sloan and Trey Ellis were given special awards for outstanding service.

The all-volunteer Westfield Volunteer Rescue Squad is funded solely by donations. To learn more about the WVRS or to donate, visit their website at www.WestfieldRescueSquad.org.

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