MB First Aid — History & Photos
The borough’s First Aid Squad has come a long way since its founding 65 years ago.
Thanks to the dedication and caring of its founding and current members — the many who have sacrificed family and career demands to aid their neighbors in distress — the organization has a sturdy foundation.
The all-volunteer group is today called the Monmouth Beach EMS (Emergency Medical Service). Stories abound over the years of volunteers being on the emergency scene with all speed and confidence. Their admirable record of service and sacrifice endures.
The organization’s origins are humble. As early as 1954 there were discussions among borough firemen about members receiving first aid training. The squad was officially founded in September 1958 when a charter was signed by the original membership of 27 men. Bill Flaherty served as the first president, Tom Porter the first VP, Jack Gannon the first secretary, Emmett Boyle the first treasurer, George Meyer, Jr. the first captain, and Edward Caprario, Dale Burd, and Fred Hawkins were the first squad trustees.
“Service is the rent you pay for room on this earth.”
The squad’s first rescue vehicle was purchased from Sea Bright for $1. Sometimes on cold nights the 1947 Chevy had to be pushed to get it started. When the squad began it had no housing and no alarm system — calls for emergency aid were routed through Boyle’s Tavern (the telephone number was Capital 2-4851). The organization stored its first ambulance in a member’s garage on Willow Avenue. In the early 1960s, Fair Haven donated a 1955 Cadillac ambulance. By July 1964, the squad had acquired its first new ambulance.
Arrangements were made to share space with the MB Fire Company — strong cooperative relations continue today — until the squad obtained property (for $12,000) west of the firehouse in 1969 for its own building. The membership, brimming with able craftsman, did much of the construction work. The new $50,000 complex on Beach Road was dedicated in May 1973 with a “gala celebration.” The brick facility on Beach Road was 2,800 square feet, with a two-bay garage, meeting room and kitchen.
One year later, Jay W. Ross — the borough’s ultimate philanthropist who made a habit of offering generous gifts — donated $40,000 to the squad to retire the mortgage on its new home. The building was subsequently dedicated in honor of Ross’ mother, Margaret (born in Brooklyn, she died in June 1967).
Down through the years, squad fund-raising activities have included egg sales, ice skating races, turkey shoots, and flower sales. Members recall Herb Fowler for his wise training skills. In 2006, to encourage participation, voters approved a Length of Service Award Program (LOSAP), a rewards system for EMS volunteers.
The Beach Road facility sustained significant damage as a result of Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. Thanks to a $35,000 grant from the Community Foundation of New Jersey the building was restored.
Today, even with exorbitant equipment costs, brutal training requirements, unpredictable hours, and other attendant liabilities, borough emergency personnel remain dedicated. Volunteers are always welcome, just call 732-222-7665 or visit here.
MBFA Founding Members:
J. Emmett Boyle • Dale Burd • Edward Caprario • Joseph Caruso • Larry DeMarco • Ray Dougherty • Bob Evans • Bill Fendelander • Bill Flaherty • Jack Gannon • Fred Hawkins • Dan Hennessey • Enoch Holmes, Jr. • Charles Hornbostel, Jr. • Carl Hornbostel • Fred Kampf • Bob Kleiberg • Charles Kopnicki • James Maney • Peter “Booty” Mauro, Jr. • George Meyer, Jr. • Ken Naess • Tom Porter • Jack Powers • John Schulz • Charles Schulz • Alfred Truglia • Frank West.
MB First Aid Squad Photos …