President Barack Obama’s urging of Americans to “find meaning in something greater than themselves” is already in play with a group of Atlantic Highlands teenagers who are part of the Atlantic Highlands First Aid & Safety Squad’s Cadets program.
The students who take part in the program are all volunteers and are learning how to be future first aid members, and ultimately give back to their community in a larger way.
"The cadets bring youthful energy to our squad and increase the dynamics of our already diverse and interesting membership,” said Andrew Crawford, captain of the AHFAS and one of the Cadet advisers.
The Cadet program of the Atlantic Highlands First Aid & Safety Squad is open to students between the ages of 14 and 17. Members participate in group outings, learn basic first aid and CPR skills, and, once they’re 16 years old can ride on real emergency calls. Cadet members meet once month under the guidance of advisers Tom Hayden, Bill Mount, and Crawford.
Mount’s son Michael, is one of the longest-tenured Cadets on the squad.
The program is designed to give students a taste of the all-volunteer organization, while also learning important people and medical skills that could come into play later.
"We are developing the emergency responders of tomorrow and being able to reach them at such a young age helps to ensure that quality emergency care continues in the future,” Hayden said.
More important, at a time when the President is asking everyone to help the country, the students are gaining invaluable and behind-the-scenes information, about being a good volunteer and how important it is to give back.
The Atlantic Highlands First Aid & Safety Squad is an all-volunteer organization that provides free around-the-clock emergency medical service and rescue operations to the area. The AHFAS operates on donations from the borough and the residents. For information about the organization, becoming a volunteer, or the cadet program call the squad’s non-emergency number (732) 291-8118 or log ontoahfirstaid.org.
“The Cadet program is vital to the future of the Atlantic Highlands First Aid & Safety Squad,” said Richard Huff, chief of the organization. “We bank on members of the Cadet team becoming the future leaders of this organization. More important, they will go on to become productive members of the Atlantic Highlands community.”