Retro Fair Haven EMS Dive Squad Doings

This week is National EMS Week. These are the trained volunteers who show up when you’re in an emergency health situation, an accident or you just need a little help out of a situation. They’re a 911 call away.

In both Rumson and Fair Haven, first aid squads are comprised of residents who are trained and certified to respond to all of these emergencies, day and night.

But there’s a squad of a different kind in Fair Haven. In 1962, a few members of the Fair Haven Fire Department’s First Aid Squad decided that, considering the borough is on a peninsula, bound by the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers, it would best serve residents and people in the surrounding area to have an underwater rescue team.

So first aider Donny Frank looked into the prospect of creating such a team. By the end of 1962, after researching the proper protocol, equipment and training required for such an official team and getting some funding together, Frank, Art Bennett, Jack McQueen and Bill Lang became founding members. By 1963, they all had received NJ Council of Divers certifications.

The team has operated under different names, umbrellas and incarnations since. It was known initially as the Dive Team, then the Scuba Team (with a reincarnation of it in 1996 by Donny Frank’s son Bobby).

It’s now known as the Water Rescue Unit, no longer diving, but performing only surface rescues since 2012.

So, the Retro Pic of the Day honors an EMS crew of a different kind with a glance back at some of the first Water Rescue Unit team.

In full gear, they’re posed in front of a classic ambulance. Recognize this rig? It’s make, year, model?

Have you thanked a local EMS person lately?

It’s such a small token. Thank you!