At their regular meeting, the Rotary Club of Mountainside was visited by Deputy Fire Chief Anthony Pecorelli. During his presentation, Deputy Chief Pecorelli described the extraordinary efforts made by the volunteers of the Mountainside Fire Dept. Deputy Chief Pecorelli mentioned that each volunteer firefighter must undergo continuous training. Even though they are volunteers, it is exactly the same training that paid firefighters receive. One great distinction is that paid firefighters receive their regular pay while attending training on weekdays. Because volunteer firefighters aren’t paid, most must attend training in the evenings and on weekends when they are not at their regular jobs. Additionally Deputy Chief Pecorelli mentioned that several of the Mountainside volunteers have been certified to fight wild fires. This is fortunate because much of the Township of Mountainside is bordered by the Watchung Reservation which has had incidents of brush fires that needed to be contained. In describing a typical week, Deputy Chief Pecorelli mentioned that besides serious fire emergencies, Mountainside firefighters are regularly roused from their beds in the middle of the night to respond to seemingly innocuous calls such as assisting senior homeowners to replace the batteries in their smoke detectors, pump water from a basement or to help the EMT’s move a patient. Though these type of calls are not specifically the duty of the firefighters, regardless of the inconvenience it may cause them with the interruptions to their sleep or family time, Deputy Chief Pecorelli said that the department members willingly perform these activities because they are glad to be of assistance to the Mountainside community residents.
During his presentation, Deputy Chief Pecorelli demonstrated a device called a “911 Buddy.” This is a fairly simple device that has suction cups enabling it to be attached to a household window. With a simple pull out key, the device is activated. When activated, the device flashes several bright red LED lights. Deputy Chief Pecorelli mentioned that all too often their response can be delayed because of the difficulty of identifying the house in need. Often house numbers are not visible or may not be in order causing difficulty determining which house on a block to respond to. The purpose of the device is to alert the fire department or other emergency personal specifically which house to respond to. With the “911 Buddy” flashing in the window, the moment they, police or EMT’s turn on the block, they can immediately identify which house placed the emergency call. In the event the residents are somewhat incapacitated, the device can be useful to alert neighbors or passing motorists to call for help. Deputy Chief Pecorelli also suggested that additional devices could be placed in a car to alert in the event of a breakdown that help is needed and can be used in lieu of or in addition to flares to forewarn other motorists to avoid hitting the disabled car. The fire department has several of these devices available for purchase at the low cost of just $20. The Mountainside Rotarians believed the “911 Buddies” could be so beneficial to all and got so excited about the merits of this device that they gave Deputy Chief Pecorelli their assurance that the Rotary Club of Mountainside will look into raising money to provide financial assistance to get these distributed to Mountainside homeowners. Until such time as that can be arranged, anyone wanting to purchase them, can visit the fire house.
Would you like to do more to help those less fortunate both in the local community and the world? You can make a difference!!! Join with 1.3 million Rotarians worldwide and leverage off those efforts already being made. Enjoy a barbecue lunch on us and find out more about Rotary at the Famous Dave’s Restaurant in Mountainside on Rt. 22 East every Monday (except legal holidays) from 12:15PM – 1:15PM.