Emergency volunteers in Howell have picnic

Emergency volunteers
in Howell have picnic

HOWELL — On a recent bright Saturday afternoon, the local Patrol-man’s Benevolent Association honored the township’s fire, medical and family service volunteers with a picnic.

Guy Arancio, vice president of PBA Local 228, said Emergency Services Appreciation Day was going to become an annual event.

The idea for the picnic was born out of the Howell Police Department’s desire to let the township’s medical, fire and other service volunteers know how valuable they are to the department and how much they were appreciated, Arancio said.

A flier advertising the event stated that the picnic, which was held on June 12 at the Priedane Society on Route 33, was the PBA’s way to "thank all the members of the Howell Township emergency services community for all of your hard work and dedication that you have given throughout the years."

More than 100 volunteers were in attendance at the affair, which featured music, a barbecue and beverages.

The gathering had the feel of a family reunion, which is what it represented to those who celebrated together under a brilliant spring sky on a day that could not have been more perfect.

Members from all three of Howell’s first aid squads were on hand with their families, as were Local 228’s members, volunteer firemen and other township services volunteers.

Also in attendance was Patrolman John Weg, who demonstrated the "hostage situation" gear and weaponry that is carried on the police department’s new Emergency Service Unit truck, which also was on display along with one of the new ambulances used by the township’s new Emergency Medical Services unit.

Several of the newly hired Class 1 officers who comprise the 12-member police medical unit were also present.

Weg let people try on the bulky and heavy riot gear the officers must wear and carry into any hostage response situation.

The common bond, apparent and shared by the volunteers who give so much of their time and effort to the community, is a commitment to the community, along with a strong work and family ethic.

Barbara Santanello, a Ramtown resident and a four-year member of the Howell-Farmingdale First Aid Squad, was there with her 2-year-old granddaughter, Leyla. Santanello said she thought the picnic was a "lovely idea" and said she is looking forward to attending it with Leyla again next year.

— Kathy Baratta