Toms River Honors Officers for Lifesaving Efforts

Kevin Monaghan, David Fowler, Chris Gillich and Melissa Gillich recognized by council

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.”

trekker October 04, 2012 at 01:16 AM
Ortley was shut down after they kept receiving money from a town for their squad and not answering calls. Volunteers do get recognized by their squads and their crew members. Being that Toms River is the "squad" for the C.S.O's they are recognizing their crew members. I am volunteer and paid, I see how it works on both sides. Its equal and I was a volunteer for years before I became paid for the last few years. As far as it being a 'political stunt', thats absurd. Its a stunt to be paid and work for a town and save lives??? Well here's something to think of...remember this is coming from both volunteer and paid, Cover your own town and I won't have to. Volunteers are way way down. If it wasn't for the paid crews you would be sitting at home waiting for an ambulance that would never come. I'd rather pay and have someone save me, than rely on a volunteer who doesn't show up. Oh yeah, Toms River responds to calls that the volunteers don't get, so when they do 30 calls in one day I'd be grateful they are there instead of saying it's some proclamation political stunt.
TruthBeTold October 04, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Toms River CSO's are a joke so are the volly squads. Maybe the township needs to reorganize from the top and all the way down. You don't need MICP's act like EMT's at 20 plus an hour plus a pension. But the really story should be how silverton volly squad was billings and cancelling MICP so they can make more money....funny how the township didn't release that information.
TruthBeTold October 04, 2012 at 02:54 AM
Only thing I read all year about township recongizing Volunteers when two members got of a squad got honored for 25 years.
1guy October 05, 2012 at 10:46 AM
I am a Volunteer Firefighter in TR, and we do get recognized. Every year the town holds an awards cerimony, actually it is coming up in Dec. Trekker is right about the C.S.O's, if it were not for them the sick and injured people in this town would be in alot of trouble, the Volunteer squads (for the most part) are almost non existant do to lack of membership. Fortunatley we do not have that problem with the Volnuteer Fire Dept. they are thriving and doing very well. The C.S.O.'s in this article and throughout the town deserve every bit of their awards.
bojangles October 13, 2012 at 09:10 AM
I dont think theyre a joke, they are needed. But i totally agree with the fact that they dont need the medics acting as emt's. Brick is the same way. Nothing against the people because most of them are great but the salary is alot for emts. just sayin


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