To the Community,
It is my great honor to represent the West Essex First Aid Squad as its Captain. We are a totally VOLUNTEER emergency medical service agency that has served the residents and businesses of Caldwell, Essex Fells, Fairfield, North Caldwell and West Caldwell for eighty years.
My journey to this place may be a little unique.
I joined while my children were teenagers and I had the time to commit to obtaining my Emergency Medical Technician certification. While EMT training was not easy, I found it very rewarding.
The classes included over 200 hours of in-class and hands-on training. All this was followed by the need to pass a rigorous written and practical skills exam required for certification.
In order to maintain my license, I am required to take additional training as well as re-certify every three years.
You may ask, “Why do all this for no compensation?”
I say, “How can I not give back?"
With all the good fortune we have living in our communities, there is no greater gift than the gift of Service. Whether it is holding the hand of an elderly patient who is not feeling well or bandaging a child or saving a life utilizing my CPR skills, it is all about giving back.
During your daily routine, please remember and thank my true heroes, the other members of WEFAS that I am honored to serve with. They give up their nights, their weekends, their holidays and their special family events to service our communities 24/7, every day of the year!
Again, we are all volunteers and our payment is the satisfaction of making a difference; the satisfaction of being of service.
I hope you have noticed that the common theme here is Service.
Strange that such a small word represents so much impact in the lives of so many. Yet all the service of our members would not be possible without the generosity of your donations.
ALL funds received are used for our operations:
To make a donation to the West Essex First Aid Squad,
please click here.
Finally, please consider joining our family. We currently have approximately 120 members with ages ranging from 16 to 90. It is time consuming and difficult at times, but the personal rewards are priceless.
Personally, I have been honored with a “Life Member” award, responded to over 4000 calls and have made lifelong friends through my membership. I could go on but if you want to learn more, just ask any of my members about their involvement and why they joined.
To become a volunteer with the West Essex First Aid Squad,
please click here.
Thank you and I'm looking forward to many more years serving the communities that we all call home.
Caldwell Police Sergeant Fred Arnold Recounts Life Saving Efforts by West Essex Area First Responders in "Making Miracles Happen" Video
CALDWELL, NJ - Last Spring, on a mildly warm and quiet Thursday, June 5 afternoon, Caldwell Police Sergeant Fred Arnold was on duty driving along Ravine Avenue in his patrol car when he experienced a cardiac event. An alert Caldwell resident, Mark Sauer, was following along behind Arnold when he noticed that the patrol car was driving erratically and he notified the police dispatcher; immediately Caldwell and West Caldwell officers were sent to the scene.
In the short time it took for the First Responders to arrive, Arnold was able to remain in control of the vehicle, steering it out of traffic's way and allowing it to rest at a utility pole. The officers found Arnold inside of his vehicle unconscious and unresponsive. They removed him from the patrol car and immediately began life-saving measures, soon assisted by the West Essex First Aid Squad.
As CPR continued to be employed on Arnold, he was rushed by ambulance to Mountain Side Hospital; numerous police departments along the route saw to it that the path along Bloomfield Avenue was kept clear of traffic. In a video produced by the Hackensack University Health Network, Arnold choked up as he recounted the experience, of which he has no memory.
Cardiologists who attended to Arnold that day, Dr. Domenic Mariano and Dr. James Amato, Jr., expressed on the video that by the time he reached them, Arnold's heart had not been beating for 45 to 50 minutes. According to a local CPR instructor who wished to remain anonymous, because Arnold's body was not breathing and without a pulse he was very much considered dead during that time period.
The doctors quickly determined a very large artery had closed due to a blood clot, which made his heart stop. In the "short window of time" that they had to attempt to correct the situation, doctors surgically cleared the blockage, opened the blood vessel, restarted the heart, but still had to wait to see if he would ever recover from the experience neurologically.
"So about three hours after the angioplasty, we ran a CATscan,
According to the instructor, the fact that the first responders performed CPR for the entire 50 minutes before the cardiac team could respond to Arnold, is what made the rest of the procedures effectively succeed.
"When CPR is preformed, you are basically working as that persons heart,"
From left: West Caldwell Police Officers: Corporal Lenny Santiago, Captain Gerard Paris, Patrolman Greg Ruesch and Detective Paul Mazzeo, next to West Essex First Aid Squad Captain David Black and Caldwell Mayor Ann Dassing standing with Caldwell Police Officers: Sergeant Fred Arnold, Chief James Bongiorno, Officer Matthew DeAngelo and Lieutenant Demetrious Andrinopoulos Credit: Caldwell Police
The community later recognized the First Responders who came to the aid of Sergeant Arnold that day:
First Responders Recognized
Caldwell Police Officers
West Caldwell Police Officers
West Essex First Aid Squad
"In the case of someone having a heart attack