Young crew recognized for their work

| 22 Feb 2012 | 07:49

Chief commends First Aid Squad members to mayor for their service Kim Van Althuis, Chris Puskas, Conor McGrath, Jake Bush and Amy Cook are presented the Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Civic Contribution in recognition of their actions on Oct. 31, 2008, when they responded to an assault on Mountainview Drive. The crew were called in to assist State Police with an injured 61-year-old man who had suffered a heart attack. The Wantage First Aid crew arrived within one minute of the initial call and administered CPR with a defibrillator; his pulse returned and he was transported to a landing zone with paramedics on board, then flown to Morristown Hospital, where he was treated and eventually returned home to recover from his ordeal. Michael Puskas, captain of the Wantage Township First Aid Squad, recommended the crew on hand that evening be recognized for their work. In a letter to the mayor, he wrote: “The crew on that night is made up completely of young people, ages 16 to 21. They often spend Friday night together at the building having dinner and watching movies. In the event of an emergency call, they are able to respond immediately and in this particular incident, their rapid response along with the immediate care rendered by the State Police on scene and finally the coordination with Medics and Northstar, resulted in the saving of a man’s life. While often we only hear of the negative in the news, especially relating to young people, it should be noted that this particular group performs a very positive and necessary service to their community. Their coordination with the State Police on scene and other emergency responders was outstanding and should not go unnoticed.” The chief also noted that on another occasion, “the crew of Amy Cook, Jake Bush Conor McGrath and Kim Van Althuis (Chris Puskas had just gone off duty) responded to another request for an ambulance to a patient who was not breathing and unresponsive. They again arrived on scene within several minutes and performed CPR as the patient had no pulse. The medics arrived and in conjunction with the ambulance crew, were successful in reviving the patient. Once again, had it not been for their rapid response and emergency medical skills, the patient might not have survived.”