PARSIPPANY — On Saturday, March 7, the Parsippany Rescue and Recovery and Rockaway Neck Volunteer First Aid Squad held their annual Installation Dinner at Zeris Inn, Route 46, Mountain Lakes. Parsippany-Troy Hills Mayor James Barberio gave the oath of office to all new incoming officers.
During their meeting, the Rockaway Neck Volunteer Squad dedicated a street in honor of Robert (Bob) Deckenback.
Lucy Elliott read a Tribute to Robert Deckenback. She said “As most of you here this evening know, this has been a very difficult year for the Rockaway Neck First Aid Squad family. This past year we lost someone who was the cornerstone to our organization. He was not only a member, but to many of us he was like a father.
Robert (Bob) Deckenback has been the backbone of Rockaway Neck for many years. He has dedicated about 2/3 of his life to our organization. He has made a lasting impression in both our squad and EMS as a whole throughout New Jersey, as we just heard from Lee Keimel with Rescue and Recovery. His work and dedication to our squad and the New Jersey State First Aid Council goes without words. They say that the volunteer is a dying breed, but you would not know this if you knew Bob.
It was 50 years ago that Bob joined the Rockaway Neck First Aid Squad, and as you can imagine, he has seen many changes in his career as a volunteer in the Township of Parsippany Troy-Hills. Bob has served his squad in many capacities over the years. He has been Secretary for one term, Treasurer for two terms, Vice President for four terms, President for nine terms, Senior Lieutenant for six terms, and Captain for eleven terms. This totals 33 years of holding some sort of office on our Executive board. He was always there when needed and never minded stepping up to help out. As time went on Bob was named to the Board of Trustees and participated with the Trustees until the very end. Under his guidance many of us in this room grew up and have been able to take on these offices, but always knew that Bob was just a phone call away if any assistance was needed. His service and dedication to our squad and the residents of the Township of Parsippany is unparalleled.
In addition to our squad he was also a leader within the Sixth District of the New Jersey State First Aid Council and has served as Vice Chairman for five terms, Chairman for eight terms, and Vice President of the Council on a state level for twelve terms for a total of 25 years of holding office.
We all remember him and some of us who have been around for a long time remember him putting up with “those damn kids!”, but without his guidance we know we would not have turned into the responsible and dedicated people we are today. Bob you have done a great job and will be missed by many. A large void has been left since Bob’s passing and he is deeply missed.
On behalf of the entire membership of the Rockaway Neck First Aid Squad, we would like to thank Sandy and the entire Deckenback family for sharing Bob with us over the years. We share in the pain of your loss. Know that he will be in our hearts and memories for years to come. You have severed your squad proudly and with great dedication. May you rest in peace my friend, she said.
Parsippany Rescue and Recovery
Parsippany Rescue and Recovery has a special program for younger members to participate in. Between the ages of 16 and 18, cadet squad members can join the rescue unit and begin their training. They are allowed to ride along on calls and carry tools, but they cannot operate any equipment at the scene of an emergency. This is understandable, considering the amount of power that rescue tools carry. Some tools like the Hurst tool or “Jaws of Life”, operate under 12,000 pounds of pressure, and can be dangerous to operate without proper training and experience. Use of these tools is restricted for cadet squad members.
Beyond the training and usual day-to-day operations of a rescue unit, one of the biggest concerns of any volunteer group is funding. Since the Rescue & Recovery Unit is not on the township tax rolls, much of the funds needed to continue operation of the unit come from donations. Each year the unit sends out brochures asking residents to make a donation and help keep the unit running. Members also have a space at the annual Fall Festival where they receive donations and recruit new members. Each year about 2-3 new members join the unit through sign-ups at the Fall Festival.
Without a doubt the Rescue & Recovery Unit, along with all Parsippany volunteers, face numerous challenges. For members of the rescue unit, facing a wide variety of emergencies both on land and on water can be a daunting task. Armed with some of the best equipment available and training designed to keep the members sharp and prepared in an emergency, Parsippany Rescue & Recovery are ready for anything. They keep their tools fueled and primed, ready to go at a moments notice to any part of town.
When asked what the most important things the public should know about Parsippany Rescue & Recovery, Charlie Bedi said, “We’re not on the tax rolls, we come from all different walks of life, and we’re family people. Your next door neighbor could be on the rescue squad and you might not even know it.”
He adds, “We have a good relationship with fire departments, ambulance squads, and the township. And they are all good people.”
For more information on Parsippany Rescue and Recovery, click here.
Rockaway Neck Youth First Aid Squad Members
The Rockaway Neck Youth First Aid Squad has been in existence for over forty years. Teens from the ages of 15-18 are welcome to join our organization if they are interested in emergency service. Training is provided by the Rockaway Neck First Aid Squad. As a member you are expected to volunteer one night a week from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. responding to 911 calls in the township. The squad currently has 11 members and are always looking for more! If interested in joining you can contact Lucy at firstname.lastname@example.org.