WHEN WAS FIRST AID SERVICE INTRODUCED IN LIVINGSTON?
First aid training has always been considered essential for the personnel of the Fire Department. About 66 years ago it was felt that the first aid knowledge of the firemen could be put to better advantage and more practical use by providing a Community Ambulance Service. It was then that the Fire Department decided to purchase an ambulance and through the proceeds derived from several carnivals, bingo games, and raffles, sufficient money was raised and the purchase of the first ambulance was made in 1937. A “Rescue Squad” was organized to perform first aid duty and operated as a unit of the Fire Department until December of 1949. Emergency service has been available for 24 hours a day every day since 1937. This commitment continued when the First Aid Squad became a separate entity in January 1950. During this time the squad has likely responded to almost 50,000 calls. This is only an estimate, the first aid squad averaged 1400 calls a year in the 1990’s.
WHY WAS THE FIRST AID SQUAD ORGANIZED?
Due to the steadily increasing demand for service, it became difficult for the limited number of firemen to handle the calls efficiently in addition to their Fire Department duties. It was then decided that an independent unit should be formed which would include not only firemen, but others whose interests were in the first aid work and not fire fighting. As a result the Livingston First Aid Squad was organized. The squad held its first organizational meeting June 1, 1950.
WHAT WERE THE ADVANTAGES OF AN INDEPENDENT FIRST AID SQUAD?
It was controlled by it’s own officers, they consisted of a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, one Captain, two Lieutenants, five trustees, an engineer, and a first aid instructor.
A separate unit also offered the opportunity for a larger force of trained persons, all drilling and demonstrations being concentrated on first aid work. With this system more effective arrangements could be made for ambulance service and equipment maintenance.
WHY DID THE FIRST AID SQUAD BECOME A MEMBER OF THE NEW JERSEY STATE FIRST AID COUNCIL?
The Livingston First Aid Squad became a member of the New Jersey State First Aid Council to obtain for the community the many advantages offered by the council. The council keeps the squads informed as to improvements in the equipment design, introduction of new equipment, changes in technique of first aid administration and so on. In addition, the Council has a system arranged so when the Livingston ambulances are all in service, other first aid squads will be called upon to service our emergency calls. To this day, the Council still maintains this program and numerous others that volunteer first aid squad have come to rely on.
THE LIVINGSTON FIRST AID SQUAD YESTERDAY AND TODAY
The Livingston First Aid Squad was started on the idea of firefighters who felt that they could improve upon the ambulance service to the community by starting a separate organization. This organization has served the Township of Livingston for over 70 years and we hope to serve our community well into the future.