The Holmdel First Aid Squad had a busy 2011 with 1,520 calls. The Squad handled several snowstorms, a hurricane, and a major motor vehicle accident with several fatalities on the GSP over the July 4th holiday. It even dealt with a slight earthquake.
The rescue truck, 1865, earned a renewed appreciation as one of the few vehicles in the Township that was able to plow through deep snowdrifts and ford the flooded streets carrying patients to the hospital. 1865’s height, weight and four wheel drive capability overcame the obstacles Nature threw Holmdel’s way.
Medical calls made up 75% of the Squad’s calls in 2011. Motor vehicle accidents and fire department support made up the remainder. Over 11% of the calls emanated from Holmdel’s three nursing homes and medical offices.
There were 27 calls that were classified as CPR, where CPR started before Squad arrival or initiated during the call. A trend that started with the American Heart Association’s adoption of new CPR instructions in 2010 continued into 2011 with more success both in better results in reaching the ER with a restored heartbeat and, better yet, with patients eventually walking out of the hospital. Nine of those calls had successful restoration of a heartbeat.
Five members participated in over 300 calls. Bob Bliss was the top responding EMT in 2011, with 530 calls. The remaining top four riding members were EMTs Angelo DeRosa (435 calls), Evelyn Puig (409 calls), Lourdes Alcaraz (366 calls) and TAD Serena DiMaso (322 calls).
The Squad’s membership consists of NJ certified EMT-Bs and “Tenured Active Drivers” who are non-EMTs but who achieve a high call rate and proficiency.
Two members answered over 200 calls in 2012: Driver (soon-to-be EMT) Chris Fazio and EMT Zach Goldstein. Seven EMTs and one current TAD participated in over 100 calls: Ali Daneshmand, Lynn Davis, Paul Fellingham, Mitchell Li, Leo Pudlo, Chris Trischetta, Steve Wolkovitz and Sheng-Chi Wu.
Bob Bliss, a long-time Holmdel resident, was elected HFAS Chief for 2012. Bob is a retired Bell Labs supervisor and has become one of the Squad’s most prolific responders.
Lynn Davis is returning to the position of Captain, after holding the Chief rank for the past two years.
Evelyn Puig and Paul Fellingham are remaining in their current offices of First Lieutenant and Second Lieutenant, respectively. Anthony Pusillo and Lourdes Alcaraz were selected as Engineer and Assistant Engineer. This is the first officership for Assistant Engineer Alcaraz, an 11-year resident of Holmdel and who was introduced to the Squad through her son’s participation in the HFAS Explorer program.
Michael Nikolis continues in the roll of Squad President. Steve Wolkovitz also continues as Squad Vice President. Serena DiMaso and Angelo DeRosa are again serving as Secretary and Treasurer, respectively. Leishing and Sheng-Chi Wu will hold Trustee positions in 2012.
Plans are afoot to have a Wine Tasting Fundraiser in the early summer. The last in 2010 was a very successful event. Unfortunately, the Squad’s bi-annual Garage Sale may become a thing of the past due to the inordinate amount of time and space needed to collect, store and display the items. President Nikolis, however, is mulling over some type of similar event for the calendar year 2013.
The HFAS is always looking for new members. The Squad can be contacted at 732-946-3239 or through its website www.holmdelfirstaidsquad.org. The process begins with a screening interview with the membership committee pending the police background check that is required of all prospective members.
Over the last few years, new members range from local college students to retirees looking for new skills and challenges. Training will be paid for upon successful completion of trial period and approval of the membership committee.