HIGHLANDS – The quick response and immediate professional attention of two Highlands police officers, the cooperation of the congregation attending the 8 a.m. mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church Thursday morning, and the kindness, prayers, and respect accorded by the pastor, the Rev. Jarlath Quinn and the need for more volunteers on all the local first aid squads were all evidenced yesterday morning when an elderly church goer had an emergent situation during mass.
Shortly after the beginning of mass, it was apparent to Fr. Quinn that a woman in the congregation was having a health issue. He immediately halted the prayer, and went to render her assistance. John Flynn, attending Father at the mass, at Father’s direction, brought water for the woman and her husband and called the First Aid Squad.
According to Police Chief Rober Burton, Capt. George Roxby and Sgt. Ian Dobens responded to the call within a minute and arrived at the scene with three minutes, after alerting the volunteer squad’s pager. Advanced life support was then requested and was enroute within ten minutes, two additional alerts also sent out to the Highland Squad. Within 18 minutes of the police arriving on the scene and administering immediate emergency assistance while mass continued, police then requested additional aid from the Sea Bright First Aid Squad, sending more messages to each squad over the next few minutes. ALS arrived on scene at 8:45, 27 minutes after first alerted, and the Meridian paid service was enroute minutes later.
“The Highlands Police Department takes pride in our community policing efforts and our response times to calls,” said Police Chief Robert Burton, in response to notes of praise for the quick actions of Capt. Roxby and Sgt. Dobers. “ One of the officers had to break from that call to answer another call for a medical emergency at a different location as well,” he added, but both situations were handled with professionalism and speed.
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”Our volunteers on the Highlands First Aid Squad are terrific people who are willing to step up and help the community in any way the can,” Roxby continued. “Highlands is like so many other towns that have volunteer services where during the day it is sometimes hard to get those volunteers to respond because of a variety of reasons including work and childcare. Our administration recognized this and took steps to try and provide that much needed service to our residents by contracting with an ambulance service that is here in town Monday through Friday 9am-5pm where we have seen the most need.” There is no doubt, he said, echoing the words of Mayor Carolyn Broullon, all of the volunteer squads in our small know communities are seeking and need more volunteers.
Mayor Broullon also commended the chief, and noted “ The Highlands Police Department operates on the highest level possible. Their dedication gives our community fast response times to all levels of emergent situations. Usually the first on the scene, our police provide a sense of calm when waiting for an ambulance to arrive. That said, now is a great time to join our First Aid Squad! It’s a great way to meet your neighbors, serve your community and the Borough pays for your training.”