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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FAIR HAVEN: BACK FROM DEATH, WITH THANKS

jay campbell 032014Jay Campbell, center, chats with MONOC paramedics Mike Welsh, left, and Marcelo Aguirre during his visit to the Fair Haven First Aid Squad Thursday night. Below, Campbell poses with his family and the emergency responders who teamed up to save him from cardiac arrest earlier this year.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

jay campbell 032014 2The bug had been making its way through the Campbell residence in Fair Haven when Jay Campbell told his wife he wasn’t feeling well and was heading to bed early that Sunday evening in January.

So a short time later, when Leslie Campbell heard a gurgling sound, she raced to grab the pail she’d used to get her son through the illness. But the instant she reached the bedroom and saw her husband lying with his mouth agape and his eyes rolled upward, she knew something far more terrible than the flu had gotten hold of him.

Minutes later, 59-year-old Jay Campbell was, by the metrics of medicine, dead. But two young cops – responding to an “open-line” call in which the 911 dispatcher could only hear the sound of a woman shouting the name ‘Jay’ – began what became a rapid-response team effort to bring him back to life.

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RED BANK: CHIEF FACES PERIOD OF CHANGE

tommy welsh 120313Tommy Welsh arrives at the Westside Hose Company following his election as Red Bank fire chief last week. Below, the borough-owned Liberty Hose firehouse is in the process of being vacated because it needs upgrades the town cannot afford. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

liberty hose 120513 2A new, million-dollar ladder truck, firehouse consolidation and pervasive manpowwer issues are on the table as Red Bank’s next fire chief takes the helm on January 1.

For chief-elect Tommy Welsh, it’s the second time around as head of of the all-volunteer department, having served as chief in 1996. This time, however, the department is on the apron to some of its biggest changes in a generation.

“We’re in the middle of some history here,” he told redbankgreen at a party to celebrate his election last week.

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RED BANK: MONOC SETS RESPONSE TRIAL

A MONOC rig will be based in Red Bank, and respond only to in-town emergencies, during a two-month trial. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

It’s MONOC to the rescue in Red Bank, at least in the near term.

Hoping to address a chronic shortage of daytime emergency volunteers, the borough’s volunteer First Aid and Rescue Squad has negotiated a two-month trial under which the nonprofit EMT operation MONOC will keep an ambulance at the Spring Street station to respond to daytime calls, officials announced Wednesday night.

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SEA BRIGHT: DUNESDAY ROCKS THE BEACH

Continuing its bounceback from the walloping it took from Hurricane Sandy, Sea Bright brought its can-do spirit right to the water’s edge Saturday with Dunesday, a fundraiser for the borough fire and first aid squads.

A daylong series of musical acts entertained from a stage on the beach abutting the Mad Hatter bar, with headliners Brian Kirk and the Jirks playing an electrifying set punctuated by lightning over the ocean. (Photos by Sarah Klepner, Trish Russoniello and John T. Ward for redbankgreen.)

SEA BRIGHT: DUNESDAY BACK ON THE BEACH

The patio at the Mad Hatter becomes Dunesday Central for the daylong beach festival Saturday. (Photo by Colby Wilson. Click to enlarge)

By COLBY WILSON

In the months after Hurricane Sandy ripped through Sea Bright last October 29, Brian Kirk knew that keeping Dunesday in town was crucial to lifting its spirit.

But without Donovan’s Reef, which was obliterated by the storm, Kirk and his band, the Jirks, were forced to move their beachside fundraiser, now two decades old, to a new location.

“I was sad about Donovan’s from a nostalgic point of view. It was literally the first bar that hired me. It helped us become who we are,” Kirk tells redbankgreen.

“Dunesday is a brand now. It’s an individual, and it needs a home,” he said.

This year, that home is a few doors away from Donovan’s, at the Mad Hatter.

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HERE’S A JOB: ‘POLICE MATRON’

Kim Ambrose, center, shares a laugh at the Fair Haven Firehouse Tuesday, shortly after she was re-appointed a police matron in Fair Haven and Rumson. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Kim Ambrose has a lot of titles, but only one she gets teased about.

Mother of three, EMT at Monmouth Park Racetrack, volunteer with the Little Silver and Fair Haven First Aid squads, founder of the Little Silver EMS Cadets program (featured in a redbankgreen story last July), part-time police dispatcher in Rumson, class 1 special police officer in Rumson, police matron in Fair Haven and Rumson: guess which one of those makes her cringe a little.

“It sounds old and stodgy, right?” she says of the ‘matron’ moniker. “It sounds like Helga’s going to come after you.”

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SEA BRIGHT: FEEDING THE LIFESAVERS

Local restaurateurs banded together on short notice Sunday to provide some gourmet chow to the firefighters, cops, first aiders, other volunteers and contractors who’ve been keeping Sea Bright safe and hustling to get it back in shape in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Contractors dig into considerable sirloin burgers at the borough firehouse, above. At right, Ama Ristorante owner Pat Trama enjoys a laugh with David Burke of David Burke Fromagerie. Below, Chis Wood of Woody’s Ocean Grille grills up some beef.

A relief tent has now been erected next to the firehouse to give the workers a place to eat in inclement weather, Wood reports. (Click to enlarge)

EMERGENCY RESPONDERS SEEK HELP

The first aiders are looking for help responding to more than 800 EMS calls a year. (Click to enlarge)

This edition of Done Good focuses on appeals for help from two Red Bank organizations that are usually on the receiving end of such calls.

One is the borough’s volunteer First Aid Squad and Rescue Squad, a unit of the volunteer fire department.

The other is the Community Emergency Response Team, an all-volunteer unit of the borough’s Office of Emergency Management.

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SEA BRIGHT FIRST AIDER INJURED IN OCEAN

Sea Bright’s volunteer emergency services are pulling for one of their own following a boogie-boarding accident that left a first aider with a broken neck Thursday.

Police Chief John Sorrentino tells redbankgreen that Candace Brunswick, 56, was apparently boogie-boarding alone on one of the town’s northern beaches when she was injured shortly after 7 p.m.

She managed to pull herself out of the surf, where an unidentified second person found her and called for help, Sorrentino said.

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TRAINING FOR RAPID RESONSE TO WRECKS

Seventeen-year-old fire cadet (and R-FH senior) Tom Brenner of Fair Haven played the victim trapped in a damaged car, above, as members of the Fair Haven volunteer fire and first aid squads conducted training using accident-extrication equipment at the firehouse Monday night.
(Click to enlarge)

‘CRASH’ SENDS MESSAGE IN GORY DETAIL

rbr-mock2Local volunteers ready a mock patient to be removed from a staged car crash and transported via a helicopter. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

With red lights flashing, power tools humming, glass shattered into crystal rocks on the pavement and twisted metal — what just minutes prior had been car roofs and doors —  tossed to the side, the jaws slowly lowered and the cell phones were pointed in ‘capture’ mode.

After firefighters muscled the jaws of life to tear aluminum and carbon fiber from two cars that had become cages to its passengers, EMS volunteers broke out the neck braces and popped the stretchers into position, ready to take away the victims of a head-on collision Friday morning.

Then the hearse arrived, and somebody was being zipped into a white body bag.

This high school tradition, a morbid mise en scene intended to spring the neck hair of prom-going seniors, couldn’t get more real short of somebody’s heart actually stopping.

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CERUTTI: COUNTY DISPATCH LAGS TOO MUCH

hot-topic rightFair Haven Fire Chief Jim Cerutti is pressing town officials to end an emergency dispatch arrangement with Monmouth County because of what he says are chronic delays in relaying service calls, according to the Asbury Park Press.

One year after starting the arrangement with the county Sheriff’s office, Cerutti says that lags in patching calls through to borough fire and fire aid average three minutes, and some have taken as long as 11 minutes.

“A lot can happen in three minutes,” Cerutti is quoted as saying.

Police Chief Darryl Breckenridge, however, says that there have been “no problems” with delays in the relay of calls to his department.

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