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Westfield Volunteer Rescue Squad Installs New Officers

Annual dinner-dance held Saturday, Jan. 26.

The Westfield Volunteer Rescue Squad celebrated 62 years of service at its annual dinner dance Saturday evening.

Held at The Renaisance Hotel in Woodbridge, the event included the swearing in of officers who will serve in 2013 by Councilman David Haas, who began by noting that he is more than just a councilman, he is also a "customer."

Haas thanked the men and women of the squad who devote their time and energy to volunteering. He added that while he's heard it said many times that the service they provide to the town comes at no cost to the taxpayer, he concluded that it would be nearly impossible to put a price on the members' commitment and dedication.

In 2012, the squad responded to a total of 2,510 calls, up from 2,400 in 2011. The volunteers were unflagging in their commitment as they answered calls during superstorm Sandy and its aftermath, even as the building was without power. Rescue Squad Capt. Reid Edles thanked the Westfield Fire Department, represented Saturday evening by Chief Dan Kelly, for lending a generator to the squad in its time of need.

The squad honored Marie Keller for her 40 years of service. Keller also has the distinction of being the first woman EMT to join the squad. Further, she was the first woman to be made an honorary member as well.

Many other members were recognized for achieving milestones in their years of volunteering and for CPR saves performed throughout the year.

A new award was given out this year, Edles joked. "The Dan Award" had two recipients: Dan Sullivan and Dan Kilbaner. Edles said whenever you need someone to cover your shift or fix your plumbing, you could count on the Dans. Kilbaner had previously been recognized for responding to more than 300 calls in 2012, the most of any member.  

Door prizes donated by Westfield merchants were raffled off to members and non-members.

2013 Officers:

President: Susan I. Lagano

Vice President: Lynn Feldman

Secretary: Candy Jackovino

Treasurer: Daniel Sullivan

Assistant Treasurer: Paula Cobos

Operations: 

Captain: Reid Edles

Deputy Captain: Ron DeVelde

Scheduling Lt.: Marcelo Adinolfi

Equipment Lt.: Kim Adams

Training Lt.: Dan Kilbaner

Ambulance Lt.: Michael Walko

To learn more about the squad, its mission or becoming a new volunteer member, call 908-233-2500. To make a donation, send a contribution to 335 Watterson St. Westfield, NJ 07090.

Keith January 27, 2013 at 09:15 PM
Outstanding job people....this great country was built on volunteers !!!
Pilgrim January 28, 2013 at 01:35 AM
No it wasn't.
Jeff B January 28, 2013 at 04:55 PM
An important statistic also provided was 27,000 volunteer hours for 2012. Fully loaded for health, pension and vacation benefits, that could easily cost $50-60 per hour if provided by paid professionals like firefighters. To put some perspective on it, $1.5 million would be $150 more per year for each of the roughly 10,000 households in Westfield. Furthermore, as Councilman Haas noted at the event, you will never find a more caring bunch of people.
FD January 28, 2013 at 06:09 PM
Or, the current fire department could take over the rescue squad to provide 24 hr service to residents during the times that the rescue squad building is empty and they have to page out for a crew. All it takes is placing a rescue squad rig at the fire house but Reid and politics get in the way.
Westfield123 January 28, 2013 at 09:19 PM
typical union goon
Angela January 29, 2013 at 03:19 AM
Thank you, two thumbs up for you!
Angela January 29, 2013 at 03:22 AM
So you're saying, the squad (as a private entity) should GIVE the fire department, (sponsored by the town) a $200,000 ambulance, to only be used sometimes? If they were as dedicated to serving this town, they would find the means to support their own ambulance, and not piggy back off of the squad. Next thing you know, FD will be asking to bill the patients that they take...

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