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  • Writer's pictureAnn Schoeller

An Ambulance Through Generosity…NOT Tax $$

Date:

April 26, 2024


The Atlantic Highlands First Aid Squad, in addition to its 22 men and women who answer emergency and fire calls throughout the night boasts of an ambulance they can now trust.

  What’s more, Squad Chief Lance Hubeny said today the squad is about two weeks away from signing a contract to purchase a brand-new ambulance, one that will further ensure the health and safety these volunteers want for the borough. However, it takes approximately two years from contract signatures until arrival of the ambulance, he said.

    Hubeny also said one of the first things he did was contact Highlands First Aid Chief Jay Terwilliger to let him know the Atlantic Highlands squad can now provide mutual aid to neighboring Highlands just as that borough has been providing to them.

  The new ambulance means the squad now has two ambulances, a 2010 vehicle they have little faith in because of its extensive problems, and the recent acquisition, a 2012 Chevrolet 4500 with 27,000 miles on it.

   Hubeny confirmed what Councilman James Murphy said at Thursday night’s meeting of the Mayor and Council, news that failed to invoke any applause, praise or congratulations from the governing body.

     In his regular report to Council on the First Aid Squad, Murphy said “Chief (Hubeny) is proud to announce through their massive fundraising efforts, the squad was able to raise enough funds to purchase a “gently used” ambulance as a back-up rig to ensure their ability to properly service our community. Fundraising efforts continue though, as they are still in need of replacing their other rig, but this is an enormous win for the squad and our residents.”

  No one from the governing body commented on the report.

    Contacted today, Hubeny confirmed that the squad was able to purchase the Chevrolet ambulance valued in the neighborhood of $80,000 from the Union Beach First Aid Squad. The Chief said he had received a call from that squad after he had been seeking a used vehicle for months.  After seeing the vehicle, trying it out and having it checked by mechanics, Hubeny conceded he also managed to negotiate a lower price for the purchase than originally set. Thanks to his persuasive abilities and the generosity of the Union Beach squad, the Atlantic Highlands squad purchased the vehicle for $40,000.

  Two days ago, squad members formed a work party at the First Aid station and refitted the new ambulance after having acquired it and having it registered. The ambulance is now in service.

     Hubeny said Union Beach has three vehicles, one of which is new, so they sold one their older vehicles after learning of this borough’s great need and lack of ability to provide mutual aid as all squads do.

   Overwhelmed with the purchase and the price, Hubeny said it has all taken place within the last two weeks and every squad member is deeply appreciative of the many generous residents and businesses who have made the purchase possible.

   He also noted there has been a small group of extremely thoughtful and generous benefactors who donated large sums of money to make the purchase possible and to enable the squad to soon sign a contract for a new vehicle as well.

  To show their appreciation, the ’new’ used ambulance is being painted and lettered now, he said. The rear doors of the emergency vehicle will be printed with the names of the ten donors whose generous support made the purchase possible. It is a tradition the squad will start and continue for the purchase of the new ambulance as well.

   “Every member of our First Aid Squad is overwhelmed with appreciation and gratitude for the generosity of so many wonderful people,” Hubeny said. “Our volunteers work hard, attain their certifications sometimes under difficult circumstances, and show up for these calls in the evening, early morning and anytime during the night. To be able to have not one, but two ambulances they can now use in the event of dual emergencies and to help neighboring towns with their emergencies makes them even more happy they themselves can go out and help their neighbors.”

 Like myself, Hubeny said, they know we have to depend on the generosity of our friends and neighbors to continue to provide the support and aid we want to provide for everyone. He said fund raising efforts will continue to be a priority to ensure the new vehicle purchase, and urges anyone who wants to play a role, large or small, in helping others in need, can make donations to the Atlantic Highlands First Aid Squad, or get further information by contacting info@ahfirstaid.org.

  The Squad is the recipient of the Atlantic Highlands Police PBA’s annual Charity Ball set for May 24 at the Shore Casino. Donations are still needed for baskets that are always a highlight of the annual event and further information on how to donate for these baskets is also available at info@ahfirstaid.org.

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