ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ – Have you considered what your local volunteer EMS organization contributes to the community lately?

If not, now's the time to note their efforts, as the Atlantic Highlands First Aid and Safety Squad prepares to mark the annual EMS Week.

The national week, May 15 thru May 21, is set aside to highlight the contributions of local EMS squads to their communities.

As part of the event, the Atlantic Highlands First Aid Squad Cadets will participate in the Town-wide Garage Sale set for May 14, starting at 9 a.m. The Cadets, a division of the AHFAS set aside for those between the ages of 14 and 17, use the event as a fundraiser. They’ll have tables with a variety of goods for sale outside of the EMS building at 10 E. Highland Ave.

“Members of the squad give their time and energy to responding to emergency calls around the clock,” said chief Richard Huff. “A lot of folks are unaware that every member of the organization is a volunteer, and does so willingly. EMS Week is designed draw attention to their work, which is critically important to the community.”

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The national and statewide award-winning organization provides free emergency medical services, as well as rescue operations, on land and on the water.

The AHFAS responded to 545 emergency medical and rescue calls in 2010 and has already logged more than 200 for 2011.

Indeed, during 2010, members spent more than 3,000 hours responding to calls. That does not include the countless additional hours spent training and maintaining the squad's fleet of three ambulances, two watercraft and an all-terrain vehicle.

“It's been estimated by Volunteers In Public Service that an hour of a New Jersey volunteer's time is worth $25.20,” Huff said. “The value of the efforts of the women and men of the Atlantic Highlands First Aid and Safety Squad is invaluable to the community. We’re here to serve our friends and neighbors when they need help, day or night.”