Hopewell Fire Dept Volunteer Spotlight: Learning to Save Lives Drastically Changed Her Own

At the start of ninth grade at Hopewell Valley Central High School,  Olivia Obst was too shy to raise her hand in class. Then, on a whim at age 16, she volunteered with Hopewell Fire Department & Emergency Medical Unit.

She became a junior member, then an EMT, then a firefighter.  Just out of high school, Olivia helped save the life of one of her Hopewell Valley neighbors, and went on to be named both Fire Fighter and EMT of the Year. Continue reading

New Volunteer Program Matches Hopewell Valley Baby Boomers With Fire/EMS Units – Learn More in this Multi-Part Series

With children grown or careers successfully completed, Baby Boomers may find themselves with free time. A new Hopewell Township program hopes to match them with a fulfilling way to use it: Volunteering with a local fire company or first aid squad.

The benefits are mutual, shared Hopewell Valley Senior Services Coordinator Randi Knechel, who started the program. The volunteer organizations always need volunteers and can greatly benefit from the experience and skills these 50- and 60-somethings have to offer. And, in this stage of their lives, members of the generation that defied all the rules may find themselves craving a little structure.

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Meet the Firefighting Families of Hopewell Valley in this Four Part Series

Volunteer fire and emergency service runs in the blood of some Hopewell Valley families. You’ll find just that in “Meet the Firefighting Families of Hopewell Valley,” a four-part series in which you’ll meet several of them!

Part 1: At the Pennington Fire Company, everyone predicts a day when the Demareski boys and their dad will fully crew a fire engine all by themselves.

Part 2: Union Fire Company & Rescue Squad husband-and-wife team David and Julie Crum each followed multiple generations into their volunteer life-saving and leadership roles;

Part 3: Hopewell Fire Department & Emergency Medical Unit’s fire house is the second home of more than a dozen Toths; and

Part 4: Volunteer with Relatives or Without. A Second Family Awaits

“Our volunteers serve a vital community role – one that also happens to be exciting and fulfilling. Fire houses and rescue squads are also fun, exciting, and welcoming places,” said Hopewell Township Fire District Board of Commissioners Chairman Michael Chipowsky. “Once someone of any age experiences the culture, they often want to be part of it.”

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From MercerMe: Hopewell Fire Department and EMU Volunteer John Novak Sr. Logs 50 Years

From MercerMe: Hopewell Fire Department and EMU Volunteer John Novak Sr. Logs 50 Years

(Dec. 19, 2016) The Beatles sang “Yellow Submarine,” Lyndon Johnson was President, and 16-year-old John Novak signed up as a Hopewell Fire Department volunteer. Dec. 20 marked Novak’s 50th anniversary of service with the Hopewell Fire Department and Emergency Medical Unit. He followed his parents in, and so did his sons.

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NJ.com reports: ‘Jaws of Life,’ helicopter at Hopewell Valley fire safety day

NJ.com reports: ‘Jaws of Life,’ helicopter at Hopewell Valley fire safety day

(Oct. 16, 2016) The Hopewell Valley fire community held a community-wide open house Saturday, Oct. 15 demonstrating fire prevention tactics, emergency equipment and a medevac helicopter landing. The event – Hopewell Valley Fire Safety Open House – gave families and residents a glimpse into the jobs of firefighters, police and EMS in the area.

A demonstration on how to escape a burning house and how to use the “jaws of life” during a game of Jenga, were just two of the attractions for residents and children who attended the event.

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From CentralJersey.com: Hopewell Valley Kids Follow Their Fathers into the Fire Service

From CentralJersey.com: Hopewell Valley Kids Follow Their Fathers into the Fire Service

If their pagers signal someone needs firefighters or medical rescue, some Hopewell Valley sons and daughters will abandon their family festivities on Father’s Day to provide that help. For the dads in question, there’s no better gift. Besides, they’ll be responding, too. Here are some of their stories:

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From NJ.com: Hopewell fire and rescue volunteers offer up praise for moms

From NJ.com:  Hopewell fire and rescue volunteers offer up praise for moms

This Mother’s Day, Hopewell Township Fire Commissioners and Hopewell Valley’s volunteer fire departments and emergency rescue squads are reaching out to thank people like Sarah Hopkins, who balances career, family life and being a volunteer emergency medical technician for the Pennington First Aid Squad.

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From Mercer Me: Spotlight: Teenage Fire and EMS Volunteers Serve Community in Hopewell Valley Fire Departments

From Mercer Me: Spotlight: Teenage Fire and EMS Volunteers Serve Community in Hopewell Valley Fire Departments

A growing group of Hopewell Valley young people have dedicated themselves to helping their neighbors by training as volunteer first responders. Hopewell Fire Department & Emergency Medical Unit has nine teenagers in its Youth Firefighter/EMT Program. Pennington Fire Company has two, with several others who plan to join and are participating in the required interview process, and several who last year turned 18 and became full firefighters. As young as 14, all are important to the future of the township’s long-standing tradition of volunteer fire and emergency service.

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