A Rich History of Service
The Rocky Hill First Aid & Rescue Squad (RHFARS) was incorporated on June 30th, 1949, sixty-five years ago, “to promote first aid work, to furnish volunteer first aid and free ambulance transportation to persons in need.” The occasion of its founding was a sad one, very personal to the community. The Squad was the initiative of local citizens horrified at the death of a youngster struck by a car on Washington Street, who lay for too long without first aid treatment.
Generations of Rocky Hillians have served the Squad and the community. Initially trained to qualify for the American Red Cross Standard First Aid Card, the RHFARS was one of the first ambulance squads in the area, responding to calls for emergency assistance in a converted hearse and going far to the East, North, and West, well beyond the boundaries of our Borough.
In 1952, Squad members built a two-bay station on Skillman Avenue. Later it was expanded to a four-bay structure in 1973. The Squad’s equipment expanded as well, including two ambulances (one purchased by the Borough), and an all-terrain stretcher-carrying transporter. In addition, it shares use of some emergency response equipment with the Fire Department.
Over the years, Squad proficiencies also have risen. Now members are certified in CPR, are trained in Basic Life Support and meet State standards as EMTs, are equipped with high-tech resources such as external defibrillators for cardiac emergencies, and are accredited by the New Jersey State First Aid Council.
Volunteer first aid squads are becoming an endangered species in New Jersey and elsewhere. In Rocky Hill, the Squad encountered lean, even “rocky” times. Since late in 2010, the Squad has rebuilt itself with sounder administration, a newly recruited and reinvigorated membership, and enhanced professionalism. The Squad remains an all-volunteer organization with no paid staff and does not charge for its emergency medical services.