Nicholas Berezansky dies at age 80

With flags flying at half staff, residents say goodbye

to one of its most respected community leaders
By:Krzysztof Scibiorski
   Nicholas P. Berezansky, a 30-year officer of the Manville First Aid and Rescue Squad and a lifelong Manville resident, was 80 years old when he died early Sunday morning at his home. A well-attended funeral was held Wednesday morning. Mr. Berezansky was laid to rest at the Sacred Heart Cemetery in Hillsborough Township.
   Mr. Berezansky’s 50 years of service with the borough rescue squad were celebrated with a parade in his honor in September 1995. He was the grand marshal of the parade, which also commemorated 50 years of the squad’s existence.
   "He was a major part of the community; he lived his whole life here and was involved in teaching and training in first aid, rescue and Red Cross," said current rescue squad Chief Cal Salter. "He was very popular in the community, but also kept his private life apart from his involvement in the rescue squad."
   Mr. Salter said Mr. Berezansky was a mentor and instructor for all of the older members of the squad.
   "I knew Nick for my 35 years on the force and he was a tremendous asset for the citizens of Manville," said Police Chief Jack Petrovic. "Nick was always there to respond to a call; the people could depend on him to respond to a call, morning, day and night. Without him we would have had to gone to shared services for the rescue squad many years ago. This is a tremendous loss for the community."
   Mr. Berezansky was born in Manville and lived here through his life, except for his five-year stint in the U.S. Marines from July 1939 to December 1945.
   Upon his return to Manville following the war, he began his lifelong efforts to help the Manville rescue squad. He also became an instructor for the American Red Cross, traveling throughout the area teaching life-saving techniques. He became an instructor trainer for both the Red Cross and the American Heart Association, teaching in New York City at Columbia Medical Center and New York School of Medicine.
   Longtime residents recall Mr. Berezansky’s swimming lessons, offered in his backyard pool for many years.
   While serving with the rescue squad, he was named district vice president of the New Jersey State First Aid Council. He retired from the rescue squad after 53 years of service in 1998.
   But that wasn’t the end of his service to Manville. He served as director of Emergency Management until mid-2001, helping shepherd the town through floods following Hurricane Floyd and in the winter of 1995.
   He also served on the board at Sacred Heart Church, the Knights of Columbus and the American Legion.