RED BANK: A NEIGHBOR’S 9/11 STORY

John Grandits’ account of his neighbor’s escape from the World Trade Center is for sale at River Road Books for $1, with proceeds going to volunteer fire and first aid. Below, Drew Irving. (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

On the morning of September 11, 2001, Red Bank resident and children’s author John Grandits could see his neighbor Louise Irving in an agitated state on her back porch, her sister’s arms wrapped around her.

Then he learned what was happening in New York City, and immediately remembered: Louise’s husband, Drew, worked at the World Trade Center.

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FAIR HAVEN: COVID-19 MEMORIAL PLANNED

Fair Haven will participate in a national memorial to lives lost in the COVID-19 pandemic by lighting up Memorial Park with luminaria Tuesday night.

With its announcement of the event Monday, the borough became the first town on the Greater Red Bank Green to join an inauguration-eve event that calls for a lighting around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington DC.

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FAIR HAVEN: CHEERING HEALTHCARE HEROES

With the sound of sirens blaring in the distance, residents of Jackson Street joined their neighbors across Fair Haven in giving a noisy, pots-and-pans cheer to healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle Thursday night.

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LITTLE SILVER: RESPONDERS GET SPOTLIGHT

little silver ambulance 041020A Little Silver ambulance outside Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

little silver light the night logoLittle Silver plans to salute first-responders on the frontlines of the COVID-19 battle next month with a townwide “Light the Night” celebration.

The event will also serve as a fundraiser for the borough’s all-volunteer fire department and first aid squad.

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VIRUS UPDATE: DEATH TOLL SOARS AGAIN

fair haven healthcare heroes 041420A temporary sign on River Road in Fair Haven as seen Tuesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topic

New Jersey’s loss of life from the COVID-19 soared past the 3,000 mark in recent days as another 351 residents were added to the ledger, Governor Phil Murphy reported Wednesday.

The fatalities, including more than 700 in recent days, was accompanied by evidence that “people are getting better and they are overcoming this illness,” said state health Commissioner Judy Persichilli.

VIRUS UPDATE: ‘WORST CASE’ REVISED DOWN

  red bank social distancing 041420Observing social-distancing recommendations, well-spaced customers wait their turns to be admitted to the Bank of America branch on Broad Street in Red Bank Tuesday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topic

Three-hundred-sixty-five more New Jerseyans have died as a result of COVID-19, the largest increase reported in the month-old crisis, Governor Phil Murphy reported Tuesday.

The spike was reported as administration officials unveiled a dramatically improved worst-case scenario in coming weeks, based on data projections.

VIRUS UPDATE: POSITIVE SIGNS AMID BRACING

phil murphy 041320 Governor Phil Murphy speaks at his Monday briefing, with a sign language interpreter seen in inset at left. (YouTube screengrab. Click to enlarge.)

[See correction below]

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topic

More positive signs emerged in the COVID-19 crisis Monday even as New Jersey’s government braced for critically ill patients to soon swamp the state’s hospitals, officials said Monday.

The preparation included issuing triage guidance to hospitals for use in “last resort” scenarios, they said.

VIRUS UPDATE: LOCAL CASE GROWTH EASING

Firefighters, first aiders and police from 10 towns converged on Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank to cheer frontline healthcare workers Friday night. Check out the photo gallery here. (Video by Allan Bass. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topic

Both Monmouth County and New Jersey saw further softening in new COVID-19 positive cases and other encouraging signs in the pandemic, government agencies reported Sunday.

At the same time, another 167 New Jersey residents died from the illness, including 8 in Monmouth County, according to the state health department’s COVID-19 web page.

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RED BANK: CHEERS FOR HOSPITAL STAFFERS

red bank thanks riverviewEmergency workers packed the front parking area for the surprise as hospital personnel responded from upper-floor windows. (Photos by Allan Bass. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank thanks riverviewRed Bank-area police and volunteer firefighters delivered a massive surprise cheer to healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 battle at Riverview Medical Center Friday evening.

The borough’s firetrucks, joined by gear from at least nine surrounding towns, twice sounded their horns in unison as staffers left and arrived for a shift change. Several hundred participants, most wearing protective masks, cheered and blew kisses from the parking lot as hospital employees in surgical masks and gowns acknowledged the love from upper floor windows.

Red Bank Fire Chief Scott Calabrese organized the unannounced event, which drew fire, police and first aiders from Fair Haven, Little Silver, Sea Bright, Shrewsbury, Rumson, Middletown, Tinton Falls, Eatontown and Oceanport.

The aim, he said, was “to say ‘thank you for your courage on the front lines of the battle.'”

(See more photos by Allan Bass and John T. Ward, below.)

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RED BANK: FIREFIGHTER’S KILLER SENTENCED

Andrew Hill was a 26-year-old second lieutenant at the Westside Hose Company when he was killed. (Photo from Facebook. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The admitted killer of Red Bank firefighter Andrew Hill has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for the crime, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office reported Friday.

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RED BANK: MAN ADMITS KILLING FIREFIGHTER

Firefighter Andrew Hill in a 2018 photo on his Facebook page. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A 24-year-old Red Bank man has admitted guilt in the 2018 stabbing death of volunteer borough firefighter Andrew Hill, the Asbury Park Press reported Tuesday.

Hill, a 26-year-old second lieutenant at the Westside Hose Company, died in the early hours of May 27, shortly after being stabbed just blocks away from the Leighton Avenue firehouse where he found his purpose in life.

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RED BANK: ‘GOING HOME’ FOR FIREFIGHTER

Engine 96 of the Westside Hose Company, bearing the casket of slain Red Bank volunteer firefighter Andrew Hill, leads a procession past the Leighton Avenue firehouse Tuesday. A contingent of pipes and drums, with representatives from Monmouth, Middlesex, Essex and Hudson counties, played ‘Going Home’ as the cortege passed, en route to a cemetery in Tinton Falls. (Video by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

 

RED BANK: HONORS FOR SLAIN FIREFIGHTER

Firefighters gathered at Calvary Baptist Church for a special service in memory of Andrew Hill prior to his funeral. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank firefighters gave a formal sendoff Tuesday to one of their own, a 26-year-old volunteer slain just blocks away from the firehouse where he found his purpose in life, in the words of Mayor Pasquale Menna.

In an open casket at the Calvary Baptist Church on Bridge Avenue, Andrew Hill‘s remains were dressed in the formal blue firefighters’ uniform he’d recently finished paying for.

Outside, the fire engine on which he’d answered numerous alarms waited to carry his casket to a cemetery.

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RED BANK: FIREFIGHTER’S FUNERAL SET

A tribute marks the place on Tilton Avenue where Andrew Hill was found stabbed early Sunday. He died a short while later at Riverview Medical Center. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank emergency personnel are planning a white-glove sendoff for one of their own next week.

Volunteer firefighter and first-aider Andrew Hill, 26, died early Sunday, shortly after he was stabbed on Tilton Avenue at the corner of Bank Street, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office.

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RED BANK: OLDEST FIRE COMPANY RETIRED

Relief Engine Company retains the second-floor meeting space in its longtime home on Drummond Place. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[CORRECTIONS: The original version of this post mistakenly identified the Relief Engine Company as the oldest firefighting unit in Red Bank. That honor belongs to the Navesink Hook and Ladder, which was established in 1872, eight years before Relief, which was the town’s second fire company. Additionally, the Drummond Place firehouse is now owned by St. James Church, not the borough, as previously reported.redbankgreen apologizes for the errors.]

By JOHN T. WARD

Making Red Bank history, one of the borough’s six volunteer fire companies is being retired from active duty.

Under a consolidation plan in the works for three years, the Relief Engine Company, stranded for the past two years without a firetruck, will become a keeper of borough firefighting history, Chief Stu Jensen announced Wednesday.

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RED BANK: NEW EMT SERVICE TAKES OVER

Alert Ambulance’s rig will  replace MONOC’s at the former Relief Engine firehouse on Drummond Place starting Monday. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Beginning January 1, Red Bank 911 calls for on-scene emergency medical care will be answered by a different ambulance service.

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RED BANK: PREPARING FOR THE NEXT ONE

Three days after a raging fire that destroyed a home and injured five people, including four firefighters just one block away, members of the Red Bank volunteer fire and first aid squads conducted a previously scheduled training exercise simulating multiple emergencies Sunday.

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SEA BRIGHT: TOWN HALL ON REFERENDUM

sb parking 081916 3BOROUGH of SEA BRIGHT Library + Beach PavilionSea Bright residents are scheduled to gather for a town hall meeting Tuesday night to discuss a referendum on whether to bond for new public facilities to replace those destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in October, 2012.

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RUMSON: KIDS TRI, TRI, TRI

Rumson kids tri 061216 3Rumson kids tri 061216 16The seventh annual Kids Triathlon for Bob Kelleher drew some hard-charging young athletes to Victory Park in Rumson for swim-bike-run competitions for kids aged 14 and under Sunday.

The event, held in memory of late First Aid squad member and triathlete Bob Kelleher, benefits the volunteer squad and the borough recreation program.

Race results will be posted here. redbankgreen has more pix after the jump. (Photos by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

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RUMSON: KIDS TRI, AND SUCCEED

rumson kids tri 061415 41rumson kids tri 061415 30The sixth annual Kids Triathlon for Bob Kelleher drew some 180 youngsters to the Navesink River in Rumson for swim-bike-run competitions for kids aged 14 and under Sunday.

The event, held in memory of late First Aid squad member and triathlete Bob Kelleher, benefits the volunteer squad and the borough recreation program.

Race results are here. And redbankgreen has 48 more photos from the event, just after the jump. (Photos by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: LAUTERWASSER TO BE FD CHIEF

rbfd chiefs 120214 1Chief-elect Joe Lauterwasser, right arrives at the First Aid building Tuesday night with his prospective first deputy, Chris Soden, left, and second deputy Pete DeFazio, center. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03If there’s one constant that defines the Red Bank Volunteer Fire Department, it’s family.

That was evident on Tuesday night, when the 143-year-old department’s annual election night celebration was dominated by names and faces that would have been familiar to attendees generations ago.

“We’re based on tradition,” said ex-chief George Lauterwasser (2002) as he awaited the arrival of the chief-elect, his 30-year-old son, Joe, at the First Aid building on Spring Street with dozens of other volunteers. “We keep it up with the kids. We’re old school.”

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SEA BRIGHT: BON JOVI DONATION MISUSED?

murphy-plansRead Murphy in 2011. below, the fire and first aid squads were displaced from their home, which was damaged by Hurricane Sandy. (Photo above by Dustin Racioppi. Click to enlarge)

sb fire house 040114The use of a $119,000 donation by pop star Bon Jovi for a new ambulance in Sea Bright has raised questions, the Asbury Park Press reports.

Nearly two years after Hurricane Sandy destroyed one first aid squad ambulance and damaged another, “some in Sea Bright question how Bon Jovi’s generous donation — originally intended to purchase a new ambulance — instead was used to refurbish an old ambulance and buy a SUV that is used almost exclusively by Sea Bright’s part-time emergency management coordinator,” the Press reports.

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