Beach Haven First Aid Squad Seeks Summer, Year-Round Volunteers  

Feb 24, 2018

As February turns into March, area businesses start their search for summer help. The Beach Haven First Aid Squad is no different, as extra support is needed when the calls increase five-fold during the very busy season.

Squad Capt. Jack Cassella said various first aid squads throughout the state will soon be contacted to find volunteers interested in helping out in June, July and August.

“The squad has some volunteers who are available when they come down on weekends or for an extended amount of time,” he said.

Cassella said the squad answers approximately 1,200 calls a year, with well more than half of those coming during the summer.

“We average 250 calls a month during the summer,” he said. “Hot weather usually results in a spike in more squad activity. When it is very hot out, people sometimes forget to hydrate themselves properly when they’re on the beach all day, and they can become ill. People need to remember to take the proper precautions during the summer, especially if they have certain medical conditions, like diabetes and others. We expect to get calls between 3:30 and 5 (p.m.) for people getting sick on the beach.”

By contrast, Cassella said the squad had 50 calls in January, and a slightly lower number for February.

The squad has a north station in Ship Bottom and a south station in Beach Haven. It is equipped with five rigs, two rescue trucks and a first-responder vehicle.

“We cover 10 of the Island’s 18 miles,” said Casella. “I have about 30 year-round members, but it’s a group of around seven that are very active and answer many of the calls. It is a problem that many first aid squads have. It’s true with fire companies, too. No one feels they have enough volunteers.”

He said prospective members are required to do 220 hours of training. The only requirement for becoming a member is the minimum age of 16, and all necessary training for becoming a driver or EMT is offered and paid for by the squad. However, he said volunteers who are certified in first aid and CPR can go out on calls even if they have not finished their EMT training.

Cassella said people interested in joining the squad may call him at 609-618-7154, or call the Beach Haven (609-492-4222) or Ship Bottom (609-494-7204) station.

— Eric Englund

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