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.
President: Susan I. Lagano
Vice President: Lynn Feldman
Secretary: Candy Jackovino
Treasurer: Daniel Sullivan
Assistant Treasurer: Paula Cobos
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.