In 1928, eighteen residents of the Point Pleasant area decided it was time that the surrounding communities be provided with some form of emergency medical service. By the Fall of 1929 their dream became reality with the formation of the Point Pleasant First Aid and Emergency Squad, Inc.
This organization was one of the first of its kind, not only in New Jersey, but in the entire nation. Its humble beginnings consisted of one ambulance housed in a garage on Arnold Avenue.
By the year 1930 the members decided to expand their facilities with the construction of a new building. Through their own labor and donated materials, the present headquarters on Laurel Avenue, in Point Pleasant Beach was erected. This was accomplished while still providing emergency first aid service to an area which included: Point Pleasant, Point Pleasant Beach, Bay Head, Mantoloking, all of Brick Township, and as far south as the Barnegat Inlet. From the time of its inception until today, all members have been volunteers and receive no compensation.
Today, our EMS unit is the primary emergency medical service for Point Pleasant Beach, Bay Head, and Mantoloking, New Jersey which includes over 5 miles of shoreline, various lakes and lagoons, the northern most section of Barnegat Bay and the eastern most section of the Manasquan Inlet and River. On the average, our 20 active men and women volunteer with the squad. Emergency Medical Technician members respond to over 1400 calls for aid per year. These calls include people who are ill at home, injured in motor vehicle crashes, people who need emergency aid while in pleasure and commercial boats off our coast and are brought into the Coast Guard Station Manasquan in our town and the many visitors enjoying our town's beaches and the Point Pleasant Beach Boardwalk who are ill or injured during their travels to and through our area.
In addition to our emergency duties, our unit also provides Standby EMS for special events which occur throughout the year at the Jersey Shore. One major effort in this area includes our EMS coverage of the Seafood Festival in September which attracts on an average fifty thousand patrons to Arnold Avenue and brings out all our members, ambulances and even our EMS Bike Team to ensure spectators receive immediate aid given a medical emergency in the crowd.
Our unit also includes a search and rescue dive team who service our waterways and beaches when the call for help is received. On any in-water emergency in our coverage area, our dive team is simultaneously dispatched with our EMS units. The dive team is also involved in numerous educational events where they are asked to speak on first aid, water safety and on the marine environment encountered during their frequent dives in the local waters.
Through the continued donations of our area residents and towns, we have four ambulances and a rescue truck. Our Dive Team has their own specialized truck along with a rescue boat which can be quickly launched into the ocean, inlet or bay when needed. Given the shoreline and recreational and commercial boats we cover, our EMS and Dive Teams go through special training drills targeted to the emergencies we often encounter and carry specialized patient care equipment geared to serving those in need in this environment.
The unit also has a Junior Squad which introduces those in their High School years to emergency care and treatment of the injured and ill under the mentorship of our active members. This program which encourages the youth in our communities to become active in our organization is an important part of providing experienced and trained members to the squad once the students reach age 18.
From the Hindenburg disaster at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in May of 1937 to the porch collapse on Maryland Avenue, Point Beach, which injured 30 people in 2002, our team of EMS volunteers has been up to the challenge of serving their communities, Then And Now.
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