It’s the heart of summer. And with summertime in the Rumson-Fair Haven area comes a tsunami of waterborne activity.
It’s the peninsula way of life. Always has been. And because of it, back in 1962, members of the Fair Haven Fire Department’s First Aid Squad created an underwater rescue team, as they referred to it. The team would exist for water rescue and recovery emergencies. It made sense.
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.
There’s a lot of casual hometown pride running through Fair Haven and it has to do with a hero’s run in New York and a couple of longtime borough residents, friendship and many years of brotherhood in emergency response.
Everything’s gonna be alright Everything’s gonna be alright Nobody’s gotta worry ’bout nothing Don’t go hitting that panic button It ain’t near as bad as you think Everything’s gonna be alright Alright, alright
Kenny Chesney ~ Everything’s Gonna Be Alright
They called him Joe T. He never hit the panic button. And he was more than alright … with a smile, a nod, a laugh and a reassuring pat on the back.
He was a loving husband. He was a devoted dad. He was a dedicated volunteer. He was a calming presence. He was a jokester. He was a beacon of hope, inspiration, fun and laughter. He was a loyal friend. He was just plain, no-nonsesense full of life. And, last year, he lost his life. But, longtime Fair Havenite and Fire Department/First Aid Squad guy Joe Truex lives on in the memories he made with purpose. He was toasted by loved ones in a “never forget” tribute party on Friday night, the one-year anniversary of his death, organized by his wife, Ethel Hodgkiss Truex.
The community is in mourning. The marquee and memorial buntings draped on the Fair Haven Firehouse mark the passing of one of its own … one who served a community he loved.
Memorial services are set to begin on Tuesday for former Fair Havenite, Rumsonite and avid community emergency services volunteer Joseph B. Truex Sr.,54, who passed away on June 6. He was living in Little Silver at the time of his passing.
A life celebration is set for 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday at John E. Day Funeral Home, 85 Riverside Avenue, Red Bank. It will be followed by a mass of christian burial on Wednesday at 11:15 a.m. at St. James Roman Catholic Church in Red Bank. Interment will be private.
Born in Oceanport to Raymond and Rita, Joe was well-known as a civically-minded man who constantly gave back to his community. He served in the Fair Haven Fire Department for 16 years and was a three-time captain of its First Aid Squad.
Before that, Joe had served as captain of the Rumson EMS. He was also a more than 20 year member of the Middletown Auxiliary Police Department.
Joe is predeceased by: his father, Raymond; and his brothers Michael and Thomas.
He is survived by: his beloved wife Ethel; his mother, Rita; his loving sons, Raymond, Joseph Jr., Brian, Benjamin, David Ruthenbeck Jr. and Kevin Ruthenbeck; his dear grandchildren, Tyler and Skylar; and his siblings, Philip, Jake, Kate Portee and Patricia White.
A tribute to Joe will follow after his funeral. RIP, Joe. You are remembered.
In looking back recently at the Fair Haven Fire Department’s honoring of the iconic Dr. John Movelle at its annual Installation Dinner in 2001, many remembered how the good hometown doctor made house calls without a flinch.
Well, in those emergency situations when a visit to the hospital is imminent and life-and-death situations are looming, the Fair Haven First Aid Squad has been there and still is. The squad has been in existence since March 25, 1930, in fact, according to Fair Haven Fire Department history.
What many may not know, though, is that while all the First Aid Squad line officers are now women — Kim Ambrose (captain), Amanda Lynn (first lieutenant) and Katy Frissora (second lieutenant) — there was a time when there were no women on the squad.
Reorganization 2015 in Fair Haven brought a new council member to the dais — a lone Democrat — and new fire and first aid line officers.
In addition to Mayor Ben Lucarelli being sworn in to his first full four-year term, incumbent Susan Sorensen took the oath for her second council term. The newcomer to the governing body, Aimee Humphreys was sworn in to her first three-year and then took a seat at the dais for her first council meeting..
Fair Haven Fire Department and First Aid Squad members were sworn in as follows: