By Caroline Fassett | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
December 25, 2020
A nurse. A science teacher. A gym owner. The head of a non-profit. A volunteer EMT. A wedding officiant. Six people. All linked by what has connected us all in 2020 - the coronavirus pandemic. Whatever we thought 2020 was going to be, COVID-19 changed everything.
As we come to the close of the year, NJ Advance Media asked New Jerseyans to reflect on the past 12 months, and share their thoughts and their hopes for the future. This series of essays, videos and interviews, called Can’t stop us | How Jerseyans adapted, came together and persevered in 2020, continues below.
NJ Advance Media recently sat down for an in-depth video interview with Jason Mayer, a 21-year-old volunteer and EMS lieutenant for the South Branch Emergency Services in Hunterdon County.
In this interview, Mayer reflects on the unprecedented events of this past year that stirred “a big change” from the normal for himself and for the squad — particularly at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, when the world was mostly unaware of what the virus even is.
“The biggest thing I’ll never forget is my first call with a (COVID-19) patient ... donning all this new PPE that we wear — our gowns, our N95 masks, our eye protection,” Mayer said. “And just going into this building and we’re not sure exactly what we’re up against, and then we’re just relying back on our training and our PPE to help keep us safe.”
This past week, 5 members of South Branch Emergency Service's Rescue Company completed a 32-hour Structural Collapse Rescue Operations Class.
Members worked on these following skills over the weekend, exterior raker shoring with Paratech rakers flying, solid sole and split sole wooden rakers. Interior three post vertical shore, three post vertical with initial Paratech shoring, two post vertical, laced post shore and the horizontal shore.
This was followed by both door and window shores, T-Spot shores, Double-T shores and spot shores using the Paratech struts.
South Branch Emergency Services, Inc. is pleased to announce the officers that will lead us into our first full year of operation:
Chief - Frank Setnicky
Deputy Chief - Chris Miller
Deputy Chief of EMS - H. Bucky Buchanan
Battalion Chief Station 36-1 - Joseph Olivo
Battalion Chief Station 36-3 - JT Silliman
Captain Rescue - Chris Querry
Captain EMS - James Race Jr
Lt Training - Michelle Gardner
Lt. Operations - Ryan Clancy
Lt. Rescue - Wes Hockin
Lt. EMS - Carol Dorf
President - Sharon Burham
President-Elect - Melanie Sloyer
Vice President - Scott Jarvis
Vice President - Brian Turner
Secretary - Laura Gimson
Treasurer - Chuck Collins
Financial Secretary - TBA
Board of Trustees
Scott Jarvis (2021)
Brian Turner (2022)
Becky Setnicky (2022)
James Harris (2023)
Jessica Hoos (2023)
Congratulations to you all, and thank you to all that have served before you.
Thank you to all who watch and supported the #Hunterdonstrong telethon. It was an amazing event to celebrate these eleven non-profits and our county’s first responders, like South Branch Emergency Services, who are the frontline serving our community.
When you support #Hunterdon Strong, your donation is helping the following organizations listed below. In this season of giving, it is not too late to support the Hunterdon Strong campaign.
To donate, please visit www.hunterdonstrong.org.