Four dedicated and heroic members of Toms River Township’s community service officer division were honored for their bravery and lifesaving skills by the township council.
“Some time ago, the township created an emergency service organization which we denominate as the ‘Community Service Officers’, as a backup service for our six first aid squads throughout the township,” said Mayor Thomas Kelaher. “These are full-time employees who are trained and certified, and tonight, we’re going to recognize four of these community service officers for their lifesaving efforts here in town.”
At that time, the mayor called up officers Chris Gillich, Melissa Gillich and David Fowler, along with their supervisor Kevin Monaghan, to the front of the council chambers to be formally recognized.
Monaghan, along with both Chris and Melissa Gillich, had responded to a call where a two year-old child had fallen into a swimming pool and was in danger of drowning. The trio of officers rescued the child from the pool, and successfully restored their breathing.
“On behalf of myself as the mayor and the governing body, and on occasions like this I know I can speak for the whole community, we want to recognize these three officers for (responding to) that incident, for their professionalism and lifesaving efforts,” Kelaher proclaimed.
The mayor also explained how Fowler and Melissa Gillich responded to a call where a 93 year-old lady was in health distress, and while evaluating her condition, the lady involved went into cardiac arrest and stopped breathing.
“As a result of the fact that these two officers were present, they immediately commenced CPR, activated the defibrillator, and based upon their efforts, they were able to restore this lady to life. I know she’s certainly indebted to you folks, as are we,” said the mayor.
In honor of the officers’ collective rescue efforts, each was presented with an official proclamation from the governing body, in addition to service ribbons for them to wear on their uniforms.
“Congratulations. Wear these with some level of pride, and you have our thanks,” Kelaher said, as all four officers received applause from the entire council chambers.
Kelaher also made sure to note that the week of Oct. 7 through Oct. 13 was named “National Fire Prevention Week” in the township, per annual custom, along with the entire month of October being recognized as “National Fire Safety Month”.
“Toms River Township has a fire prevention bureau that’s responsible for fire inspections and determining the causes of fire,” said Kelaher. “There’s no question that the work effort that goes into their mission has obviously saved lives and property here in Toms River.”