Five Questions With John Bannon Sr.
Cedar Grove Ambulance and Rescue Squad captain has been serving the community since 1967.
With fireworks, hot barbecues and holiday celebrations today, its good to know that someone's got your back.
The Cedar Grove Ambulance and Rescue Squad, located at 651 Pompton Ave., is on call and ready to help should their assistance be required.
When accidents do happen, Cedar Grove Rescue Squad Capt. John Bannon Sr. is the person people most want to be there to help them through the crisis.
Bannon has been a member of the squad since 1967 and has served as captain the past seven years. He joined the squad because he wanted to help people while giving back to his community.
What is one thing residents don't realize about the rescue squad you wish they knew?
“I strongly feel that most people don't realize the services we provide to the town. Most people don't know we are separate from the town, that their taxes don't pay for us and some people don't realize we are volunteer.”
What are the most common calls during the holiday and how do you treat them?
“Motor vehicle accidents and children playing with fire crackers. Some years you never get any and there are other years when you get multiple kids injured by firecrackers, and sometimes adults to. For a firecracker injury, we bandage the injured area and take them to the hospital. If someone gets burned on a hot grill or fireworks, “The first thing you need to do is cool it off to get the thermal out of the burn by running it under cool water. Depending on how severe it is, call 911, especially if it is near the face because you may have inhaled hot gases,” he said.
What's the most difficult part of your job around July 4?
“A lot of people like to go away down the Shore and that leaves us a little short on man-power sometimes. We could get multiple calls. We have three ambulances, but sometimes its tough to get all three ambulances out depending on the time of the day.”
What is your advice to residents on how to stay safe during the holiday?
“My advice to avoid motor vehicle accidents is don't rush and be patient, you will get where you are going soon enough. Drive with care and don't drink and drive.”
What is one of the biggest challenges you face on the rescue squad?
“The biggest challenge is getting volunteers. We are always trying to recruit and it takes a while to get a new member up to speed. We get a lot of young kids in high school and college but after a few years they are off doing their own thing and we lose them. We would like to get some more people who are established and will be around town.”