Fire Department SUV Gets New Life as First Responder Vehicle for First Aid Squad
The 2005 Chevy Tahoe SUV once used by Lakewood Fire Chief Steve McNamara to respond to fires will soon be used by the Lakewood First Aid Emergency Volunteer Squad to respond to medical emergencies in the township.
The Board of Fire Commissioners recently donated the pre-owned vehicle to the 43-member volunteer First Aid Squad, with headquarters at 1555 Pine Street, Lakewood. Fire Commissioners Juan Ortiz, chairman, and Mike D’Elia, vice chairman, presented the vehicle and keys to Moe Heinemann, captain of the Lakewood first aid squad, and Yehuda Shvartzblatt, the first aid squad president.
“The vehicle will be used as a medical emergency first responder vehicle that will benefit the residents of our town who rely on us for a prompt response in the time of a medical emergency,” said Heinemann. “We are very grateful to the Board of Fire Commissioners who chose to donate this vehicle to us, as we solely operate and rely on donations.”
Shvartzblatt said the squad has been in need of a new first responder vehicle for a long time but was unable to purchase one because of the lack of funds.
Heinemann said that the fire department was retiring the Tahoe and replacing it with a new vehicle. Although the 2005 vehicle needed some mechanical work, repainting and lettering, the first aid squad was very happy to receive it. Arkady’s Auto Repair, Lakewood, did the maintenance and mechanical work on the vehicle for free and Tilton Bodyworks, Lakewood, will be repainting the vehicle, Heinemann said.
“We hope to have it in service within the next two months after we stock it with emergency equipment like the AED (automatic external defibrillator) and a Trauma Bag,” he said.
“We cherish the great working relationship we have with the Lakewood Fire Department and Board of Fire Commissioners, and we are very thankful to them,” Shvartzblatt added.
Heinemann said that the volunteer squad goes on 1,000 calls per year and serves as the backup to the Lakewood Township EMS.
“We also serve as the principal extrication team for Lakewood and recently established a surface water rescue team with the police department and EMS to do water and ice rescue,” he said.
Heinemann said twice a year the squad sends out a mailer seeking donations. “But donations are always helpful and welcome any time of the year,” he said.
For more information about the first aid squad or to donate to the squad, visit www.lakewoodfirstaid.org