A volunteer first aid squad that disbanded recently due to a lack of available personnel is providing one more assist to the local community.
The Dover-Brick Beach EMS squad was founded in 1952 and, until recently, was located in the Normandy Beach neighborhood – a neighborhood which is split between Brick and Toms River townships. Its headquarters, which included meeting spaces and ambulance bays, was sold last year, only to be torn down in favor of four residential homes which are being built in its place. The loss of the nonprofit squad leaves only one volunteer outfit – Lavallette First Aid – remaining on the barrier island.
Despite its closure, Dover-Brick Beach EMS is making one of its final “calls” one of its most significant. Ocean County College announced Wednesday that the college’s foundation accepted a $500,000 donation from the squad to establish the “Dover-Brick Beach First Aid Public Health Scholarship Fund.”
The donation will be used to support the College’s health sciences programs.
“The Ocean County College Foundation is honored to receive such a generous gift from the Dover-Brick Beach First Aid Squad,” said Ken Malagiere, executive director of the Ocean County College Foundation. “This expendable fund will be dedicated to scholarships in nursing and the health sciences as well as support public health programming for Ocean County College students, and our broader community.”
The squad released a statement on the donation, and its seven decades providing emergency medical care to the barrier island community.
“The Dover-Brick Beach First Aid Squad proudly provided pre-hospital emergency medical services along the barrier island sections of both Brick and Toms River townships for 70 years,” the organization said in a statement. “Founded in 1952, dedicated volunteers staffed ambulances and treated medical emergencies without charge to the public. In honor of those dedicated volunteers who gave of themselves and in celebration of their service to the community, Dover-Brick Beach First Aid Squad offers financial support to those pursuing studies in the Public Health/Sciences Fields.”
The Ocean County College Foundation, a private non-profit organization, raises funds to establish scholarships, endowments, and capital and special projects.
“This major gift is an example of the Dover-Brick Beach First Aid Squad’s commitment to healthcare and public health, a testament to its years of service to the Ocean County community, and a recognition of the important role Ocean County College plays in preparing our students to serve that community in the future,” Malagiere said.
Dover-Brick Beach EMS was not affiliated with the larger Brick Volunteer EMS organization, a group of squads that had been consolidated into one town-wide organization. Brick Volunteer EMS, likewise, has shut down. Brick Township residents are now primarily served by Brick Police EMS, a paid squad run by the township’s police department. Toms River is also home to a paid EMS squad run through the police department, however community-based squads continue to exist there.