. . . there was a doctor named Jack Hopping, who was the township physician for East Hanover. He, along with a couple of other fellows, George Hobby and James Ross, Jr. had an idea that the rural community of East Hanover had a need for a volunteer first aid squad.
When all this thinking was going on, the local residents would call the East Hanover Police Department when they needed assistance, and if the one and only man that was on duty was in the building, he would notify on of the surrounding communities. Once the see was planted, the East Hanover Fire Department came along and donated a 1948 Buick to serve as East Hanover's first ambulance. At that time, they were called the Hanover Neck Volunteer Fire Department and the Hanover First Aid Squad, but, when the postal name change came along, both organizations added the East.
Ross, Hobby, and Dudley Boycott, who were the first instructors of the squad and Vice President of the Whippany National Bank at the time, called for an organizational meeting. Bob Schmitt, heard about the meeting and told his wife Eleanor, that he was just 'gonna' go and see what's going on. Well, Bob would end up being the first captain of the squad. In December of 1955, the first officers of the squad were elected. George Hobby, President; Bob Schmidtt, captain; Tony Matarazzo, lieutenant; John Ryder, lieutenant; Joe Ziray, lieutenant and Bob Mitchele, engineer.
The Squad went on its first call on February 1, 1956, although they have been in the organization state for some six months. The first rig was kept in Mick Deskovick's garage on Deforest Avenue and they held meetings in the firehouse, which is currently House #1 located on Ridgedale Avenue in front of the East Hanover Police Department. The training sessions were held in the basement of Kitchell Memorial Presbyterian Church. In the first month, they responded to 17 calls, and has had a total of 100 calls for the year, with 39 active riding members.
The Hanover First Aid was a non-profit corporation and all assets and equipment relied solely on fund-drives and donations, as it does presently. Members walked house-to-house asking for donations and at the same time getting trained in Standard and Advanced First Aid. A 1948 Buick Ambulance was purchased and generously housed in the East Hanover Fire Department’s garage on Deforest Avenue from 1955-1963. In 1958 the members raised enough money to buy property to start construction of a two bay garage. The construction wasdone by 99% volunteer laborers. The total cost was approximately 13,000 and was operationing as of April 1963.
As time went on the need for the squad doubled, and tripled. The town then grew and so did the need for additional equipment, supplies, and space. But the donations were not matching up the costs.
In 1986 the township committee-men were presented with the problems of the squad being faced with not having enough money for an addition that was desperately needed. An agreement that was met between the township and the squad members was a 99 year lease for a charge ofone dollar per year. This agreement solved the problem of space and storage. The next problem that the squad encountered was the increased hours for training. The State Department of Health made it mandatory that all volunteer first aiders become Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT's). The training hours were increased to 110 hours plus a written and practical test which must be passed in order to become a EMT. The decreased number of member was just jetting worse.
The East Hanover Fist Aid Squad is a ground of people who enjoy helping other in their time of need. The squad members have their annual banquet, EMS week, and other functions during the course of the year. The training that Emergency Medical Technicians receive will be something that a person can use for the rest of their lives. The squad needs members. Come and join people who love to help others and be a part of an organization that care.
Help Us, Help You!!! Join the East Hanover First Aid Squad.