ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS – The Atlantic Highlands First Aid & Safety Squad is has wrapped up five nights of helping local residents with scrapes and scratches at the Atlantic Highlands Fireman’s Fair.
The all-volunteer emergency medical service and rescue organization provided crews, ambulances, an all-terrain vehicle and a water-rescue unit during the five-day event, should attendees get injured while having fun.
Atlantic Highlands First Aid & Safety Squad's ambulance and all terrain vehicle stand ready to respond at the Atlantic Highlands Fireman's Fair.
“Part of the squad's mission is making sure there is a sufficient EMS team on hand at all major events in town,” said AHFAS chief Richard Huff. “We train to respond to all sorts of emergencies and our team has several members with large-scale event EMS experience.”
Experienced crews were on hand each night for routine emergencies. And, Friday, when the crowed swelled by thousands for the fireworks, Keyport First Aid provided an ambulance and crew as well.
“We train with Keyport First Aid on a regular basis, and its members are prepared for major events,” Huff said. “Having them on hand was an extra precaution given the size of the crowd and the potential risks that develop in those scenarios.”
“We do this,” Huff added, “while also making sure all calls in town are covered as well.”
For more than 80 years, the AHFAS has been providing free, around-the-clock emergency medical services and rescue operations to residents of Atlantic Highlands and, occasionally, the surrounding area. Members are prepared for small and large scale disasters, water rescues and vehicle extrication.
In addition to being on hand for the fair, an event operated by the Atlantic Highlands Fire Department, the AHFAS provided a crew and an all-terrain vehicle for Oceanfest in Long Branch on July 4, as well as at a recent car show in Atlantic Highlands. In the coming weeks will be on hand for a soccer tournament and the upcoming FilmOne Fest in the municipal harbor.
The squad operates only on donations from the borough and the contributions of the community. Squad members devote their personal time for training, responding to calls, and for being available at events in Atlantic Highlands to assure if someone gets hurt, they'll get speedy help.
“Being at the fair is important to us,” Huff said. “We want to be on hand should something unfortunate happen, which is always a possibility when large crowds gather. I'm proud of the support we provided. Fortunately, this time out, even though there were two serious calls, most of injuries were limited to minor cuts from falls. We provided band aids to a teenager who broke a well-manicured fingernail. The look on her face made it clear she was happy we were there.”