In the fall of 1997, the Woodbridge P.B.A., Local 38 started a street hockey league for township residents ages 6-17. Since then the Woodbridge Township Professional Firefighters Association, I.A.F.F. Local 290, has been sponsoring a team each year. This year in addition to sponsoring a team, the firefighters of I.A.F.F. Local 290 purchased an Automated External Defibrillator more commonly known as an AED for the Woodbridge P.B.A. Street Hockey League. The unit was presented to the Woodbridge P.B.A. Street Hockey League’s Coordinator Brian Small on Thursday, September 19, 2013, at the Street Hockey League’s rink in the Port Reading section of Woodbridge Township. “On behalf of President, Dean Janowski, of P.B.A. Local 38 and the Street Hockey League, we greatly appreciate the donation of the defibrillator by I.A.F.F. Local 290. We hope that this piece of equipment never has to be used but if it does, we are well prepared. Our unions have always had a great relationship and we continue to work together for the best interests of the children and residents of our community,” said Brian Small. Every year thousands of people die of sudden cardiac arrest. Many of these deaths could be prevented with immediate and appropriate care. Early recognition, early CPR, early defibrillation and early advanced medical care are all part of the chain of survival. The technology is available to help provide early defibrillation for cardiac emergencies. An AED is a portable device that analyzes the heart’s rhythm and determines if an electric shock is needed to restore an effective rhythm. An AED can deliver that shock either automatically or with the push of a button. The firefighters of I.A.F.F. Local 290 recognize this fact and have acted in an effort to make Woodbridge Township a safer place. To date, the Woodbridge Township Professional Firefighters Association, I.A.F.F. Local 290, has donated AED units to Woodbridge Little League, Fords Bearcats Football, Fords Clara Barton Baseball Little League, Port Reading Saints Football and the Woodbridge High School Athletics Department.
On Sunday, December 15, 2013, members of the Woodbridge Township Professional Firefighters Association, I.A.F.F. Local 290 visited the Saint Peter’s Children’s Hospital in New Brunswick. The firefighters spread some holiday cheer to the children hospitalized for the holidays with smiles and of course toys. The members of Local 290 learned of the Child Life Program through Saint Peter’s Children’s Hospital. The Child Life Program was established to provide a comfortable experience for patients and their families by lessening the trauma of illness. This program provides young patients with play and other special therapies during their stay. The firefighters surprised more than thirty nine children, ranging from infant to sixteen years old with age appropriate gifts. The leftover toys were donated to the pediatric unit for use in their playroom. Tom Nebus, a career firefighter in Woodbridge Township’s Fords section led the holiday spirit brigade by arranging the event with hospital officials and his brother firefighters. “Prior to the event, we were told there were 52 beds on the unit, the age range of the patients currently occupying those beds and went shopping for some toys,” said Nebus. “This was our first year doing this event and we are already planning for next year. This was a rewarding experience for all involved.” For more information on the Child Life Program, visit: www.SaintPetersHCS.com/Child-Life-Program