To the Editor:
As the season of giving surrounds us, Princeton residents might be looking for ways to make a difference in our community by shopping local, supporting nonprofits, and volunteering their time for a worthy cause. Two organizations right here in your backyard rely almost entirely on volunteers – the Princeton Fire Department and Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad.
The Princeton Fire Department is one of the oldest fire companies in New Jersey. Dating back to 1788, it relies on surrounding departments to help respond to hundreds of calls per year. Statistics show that the number of volunteer firefighters in the United States has decreased 15% since 1984, yet the call volume has increased by nearly 300%, leaving volunteer fire departments like Princeton in urgent need of additional volunteers.
Down the street in its new, state-of-the-art facility, the Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad is an independent, non-profit, volunteer-led organization that provides emergency medical and technical rescue services to Princeton and the surrounding communities. At the Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad, high school and college-age members find it a great way to complement their pre-medical education, and even to help them decide which path to pursue. There’s a real camaraderie among all of our EMTs and firefighters. They share a sense of duty and that pull to serve.
Why volunteer? Most of our volunteers say they want to serve because of the deep satisfaction that comes from helping people in need. If the pandemic has allowed you a more flexible schedule and you have a desire to serve the Princeton community, you may find that our local volunteer fire department or emergency services squad can provide you with one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.
Mark your calendar for two upcoming events. Join us at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 7 for an open house at the Princeton Fire Department, which is located at 363 Witherspoon Street. The next week, there is an opportunity to visit the Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad on Monday, Dec. 13 at 6 p.m., at 2 Mt. Lucas Road. Meet other volunteers and learn more about our free training programs and path to certification. There has never been a better time to join these organizations and truly make a difference in your community. We hope to see you there.
Director, Dept. of Emergency and Safety Services
Chief, Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad
Mt. Lucas Drive