On behalf of South Branch Emergency Services, we would like to congratulate Christopher Querry, on being selected as a Rescue Specialist with New Jersey Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 1. NJ-TF1 is New Jersey's state urban search and rescue team, as well as 1 of 28 federal task forces designated by FEMA, to respond to disasters around the United States as part of a National urban search and rescue team.
Chris started in the process of becoming part of NJ-TF1 in the fall of 2023. Just like many careers, it consisted of an application process, oral interview, review of training and experience, and rescue skills evaluation. Chris was one of 20 selected throughout the entire state.
Chris started in December 2014 as a cadet with "Clinton First Aid and Rescue Squad." Once Chris turned 18, it was only a short time before his knowledge and character brought him into the Rescue Lieutenant Position. Through continuous training and experience, Chris eventually became the Rescue Company Captain. Both of these roles were during the time Chris was a volunteer. Chris eventually made the step and transferred to the career side of the organization in October of 2021, and became our career Rescue Lieutenant.
Chris was always so interested in the field of fire and rescue services, as well as continuing education, he continued on to become an Instructor with Hunterdon County Emergency Services Training Academy. After some time, Chris continued on his career path (and ultimate achievement) and became a career fireman. Chris has returned "home" to the volunteer side of the rescue company as a Senior Rescue Specialist when time permits. Chris is also Hunterdon County's OEM-3 (Office of Emergency Management) and operates with emergency planning of technical rescues and disaster situations. Chris was a staple in advancing the rescue company during his time with us. Chris is always full of innovative ideas and is incredible at all of the various hats he wears.
We wish him our deepest congratulations for this excellent achievement!
Congratulations to EMT Jessica Bartelloni on her recent graduation from American Public University with a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology.
Instead of "walking" for her graduation, Jessica, who is currently our full-time Operations Lieutenant, decided to go to her happiest place on earth, Disney World. She graduated Magna Cum Laude, which is a great reason to celebrate.
Lt. Bartelloni joined the SBES family in June of 2022 and was promoted into the Ops Lt. position last November.
Up next? Jessica will be working towards her Masters in Public Administration.
Congratulations to volunteer EMT Patrick "Rick" Kochanowski who graduated today from North Hunterdon High School. Patrick joined the SBES family in the summer of 2020 and attended our EMT course in the fall of that year., successfully earning his National Registry EMT.
Patrick currently serves as a volunteer Team Member-Driver with our department. He'll be headed to Syracuse University to study Finance, with a scholarship from the Annandale Hose Company.
EMT Kochanowski currently resides in Clinton Township.
Congratulations to Anthony Pasculli who graduated from North Hunterdon High School this morning! Having joined SBES in November of 2021 as a volunteer Cadet, Anthony joined us as part of our partnership with the Hunterdon County Votech system and served as an Intern several days a week, earning credits towards his schooling.
Anthony continues to serve as a volunteer in our Rescue Company and will be continuing his education in trade school for the low voltage trade.
Rescuer Pasculli is a resident of Franklin Township, Hunterdon County.
Congratulations continue this morning with graduate Clayton Tomlinson, volunteer Cadet EMT. Clayton joined SBES in January 2022, completed in the Fall, and passed in National Registry in January 2023. He was part of our Cadet Competition Team last season.
Residing in Alexandria Township, Clayton attended the Hunterdon County Academies and graduated as the 2023 Valedictorian from Hunterdon County Vocational School District.
Up next? He is headed to Johns Hopkins University to study Molecular and Cellular Biology.
Congratulations to EMT Team Member Shane Pierson on your graduation from Voorhees High School this morning.
Shane joined the Squad as a volunteer Cadet in January 2022, attended EMT Class in the Fall of last year, and was promoted to Team Member, where he serves today.
EMT Pierson is from Glen Gardner Borough.
Our next graduate is Jeel Patel, a volunteer EMT with South Branch since May 2018. Jeel, who is one of our Cadet Advisors as well as a Team Member, graduated on Monday from Seton Hall University, where she earned a B.S. in Biology, Magna Cum Laude.
EMT Patel stated upon her graduation that she is "looking forward to applying what I've learned this past year in PA School as a volunteer EMT at SBES". She added that she is "grateful for having joined Clinton First Aid & Rescue Squad (now SBES) as a cadet in high school which helped me solidify my decision of choosing a profession in the medical field".
Jeel, one of our more active volunteers when not at school, heads off to Physician Assistant school for her 2nd semester next week. She completed her first semester while at Seton Hall as part of their Interprofessional Health Sciences Campus.
Congrats Jeel and best of luck this semester!
Congratulations to EMT Audrey Riccitelli, who graduated late last week from The College of New Jersey with a BS in Biology. Audrey, who has been a volunteer with SBES since January 2020, currently serves as a Team Member EMT as well as one of our Cadet Advisors.
EMT Riccitelli graduated summa cum laude, majoring in Biology, and double minors in Chemistry and Philosophy. She is a member of two national honor societies, Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi.
And even further congratulations as Audrey has just been accepted into medical school! After a short break, and some ride time, she's off to Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine to get her DO in emergency medicine.
Great Job Audrey!
Our first of the season congratulations goes out to EMT Emily Hajduk, and per diem EMT with South Branch Emergency Services.
Emily graduated from The College of New Jersey, earning a B.S. in Accounting, Summa cum laude - highest honors.
EMT Hajduk also serves with the NJ National Guard Medical Corps.
Congrats Emily! Great job!
Celebrating "Our Proudest Moment", the 200 Club of Hunterdon County held their 2023 Valor and Merit Awards Dinner earlier this evening in Kingwood Township. Two of the recipients included South Branch Emergency Service volunteers EMT/FF Jason Mayer and EMT Patrick Kochanowski. Along with High Bridge Fire Chief Sean Smith, Mayer, and Kochanowski were awarded the only Live Saving Award of the year for actions taken in the early morning hours of May 1, 2022, at a large residential fire in a multi-unit dwelling in Union Township, Hunterdon County.
The submission for their award read as follows:
On May 1, 2022, South Branch Emergency Services was dispatched with numerous fire departments for a building fire with people trapped. An ambulance from SBES was first to arrive on the scene in less than 5 minutes from dispatch to find a large condo building involved in fire with 3 people that had jumped from the 2nd and 3rd floors to escape. (EMTs) Jason and Patrick immediately began to render aid to those that were seriously injured. They worked for several minutes by themselves until additional units arrived. Jason and Patrick kept calm under pressure and the severity of the injured in providing the best care to those in need, they triages as needed and had others assist when possible until other ambulances and personnel arrived. The crew called for medical helicopters and additional Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support units to evacuate the injured to a regional burn center and a local trauma center. The direct actions by volunteers EMT/FF Mayer and EMT Kochanowski led to successful outcomes for all those seriously injured.
Chief Smith, one of the first arriving Chiefs on the scene, was directed by bystanders and the NJSP personnel on the scene to a woman hanging out a window several stories up with heavy fire behind her. Chief Smith ascended the Clinton Fire Department's Ladder Truck and approached the disoriented woman. While making the rescue and descending the ladder truck, both Chief Smith and the burned, disoriented victim who had tried to get away from her rescuer, lost their footing, which resulted in a fall from the ladder to a NJSP State Trooper below.
Additional residents were evacuated by the quick actions of additional State Troopers and arriving firefighters, including one elderly resident who was still asleep in bed and successfully removed uninjured.
Congratulations to all involved, especially our very own members, for doing what you train to do, but luckily rarely have to use to their full potential. Great job all!
200 Club of Hunterdon, 2023 Honorees
Life-Saving Award - Incident: Union Township Fire
(L to R) EMT/Firefighter Jason Mayer, South Branch Emergency Services
EMT Patrick Kochanowski, South Branch Emergency Services
Chief Sean Smith, High Bridge Fire
Unit Citation Award - Incident: Union Township Fire
Sergeant Michael Delgaizo, NJSP
Trooper Juan Jacome, NJSP
Trooper Filip Konieczkowski, NJSP
Trooper Zachary Manley, NJSP
In addition to South Branch Emergency Services, High Bridge Fire Department, and NJSP, other honorees included members of: