The Shrewsbury First Aid Squad (SFAS) was founded in 1964 by William Wardell and 8 other charter members who felt that Shrewsbury needed it’s own first aid squad. Prior to that time, the Borough of Shrewsbury was covered by the Red Bank First Aid Squad with backup from the Eatontown First Aid Squad (formed in the late 1929) and from the Little Silver First Aid Squad (formed in 1954). In 1964 the SFAS members went through training and provided nighttime coverage while Red Bank provided daytime coverage. In September, 1965 the SFAS began full time operations in the Borough.
The squad members purchased property at the corner of Laural and Haddon Avenues, the site of the former Sanders Machine Shop. The single bay garage was soon expanded to accommodate two ambulances. The building was so small that squad meetings were held in the garage with the ambulances moved out. The SFAS building is still located at the original site but it has been updated and expanded over the years. The location of the building, although situated near the northeast corner of town, was convenient to the original members and located close to the center of the borough’s population at that time.
The original property was purchased and then expanded using mortgages which have been paid off using donations from the citizens of Shrewsbury collected during the annual fund drive. The current meeting room was added in 1973 and the large two-bay garage was built in 1982 to accommodate the much larger “truck-style” ambulances used today.
The first ambulance was a 1955 Cadillac purchased from the Little Silver First Aid Squad. Soon after, a 1959 Cadillac ambulance was donated to the SFAS by the Leonardo First Aid Squad. The first new ambulance purchased by the squad was a 1973 Grumman followed by a 1982 Braun, which necessitated the larger garage. Currently, we operate 2007 Braun Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) and Unit 4557 is a 1998 Braun (ERV). To see pictures of our emergency equipment, click on Equipment.
Members of the squad are assigned a sequential number when they join. William Wardell was assigned #1 and our most recent member was assigned #235. Over the years we’ve had many dedicated members. Our most senior members include Lester Van Pelt (#17), Jack Connors (#20), and Paul Roman (#46).
Claims to Fame
- SFAS was the first squad in the area to run community CPR training programs.
- SFAS has been training the 8th grade Shrewsbury elementary school class in CPR for over 29 years, the oldest 8th grade CPR program in the country.
- SFAS has had a long history in providing training in Emergency Medical Services. Paul Roman and Jack Connors are two of the first certified instructors in the region and Paul continues to be in charge of the National EMT Registry program in the State of New Jersey.
- SFAS was the first squad in the area to accept 18 year olds as members.
- SFAS was one of the first squads in the area with female members.
- One of the first accidents handled by the SFAS was a plane crash near Shrewsbury Avenue near the old Red Bank Airport.
- Each year the SFAS offers college scholarship money to a deserving high school student in the name of Thomas Maletto, a dedicated SFAS charter member.
- The Squad honors its members and their spouses for their long hours of service and many sacrifices at an annual “recognition” dinner.