HILLSBOROUGH: Fellow rescuers near and far come to honor fallen comrade James Maguire

More than 50 EMS, police and fire agencies attended the viewing and funeral for Hillsborough Rescue Squad paramedic James V. Maguire IV, who died in the line of duty on Monday, Dec. 7.
Mr. Maguire had responded on Dec. 6 at about 4 p.m. to a call near his home of an unresponsive man and performed CPR for an extended period of time. Less than 20 hours later, he apparently suffered a heart attack.
Mr. Maguire normally works the Hillsborough day shift every Monday, but called out. At around 12:30 p.m., his family found him unconscious and called 9-1-1. The same EMTs who normally work with him on Mondays responded.
“Jim was our co-worker and our friend. It’s been a very difficult week for all of us, particularly the crews that responded to Jim’s house,” David Gwin, rescue squad chief, said.
“Jim’s entire adult life was dedicated to public service — as a Marine, as an EMT and paramedic and as a police officer. I had the pleasure of working with Jim for over 35 years. His loss leaves a hole that will never be filled.”
Mr. Gwin said that, to the best of knowledge, this is the first-line-of-duty death in the 60-year history of the squad.
Mr. Maguire joined the Hillsborough squad in 1979 and was active in it ever since.
Township flags were lowered to half-staff on Monday.
Neighboring squads manned the Hillsborough EMS station during Sunday’s viewing and Monday’s funeral. Ambulances from Princeton, Montgomery, Manville and Finderne covered on Sunday. Princeton, Manville, East Millstone and Branchburg covered on Monday. Flemington and Somerville sent rescue trucks on Sunday. Branchburg and Manville rescue trucks covered on Monday.
Traveling the farthest distance Monday for the funeral was a New York City Fire Department ambulance, which was part of Monday’s procession.
In addition to working on the Hillsborough EMS day crew, Mr. Maguire was as a career paramedic at Hunterdon Medical Center. He was one of the key people who guided the transition from an all-volunteer squad to a combination paid/volunteer squad in 1988, Mr. Gwin said.
Mr. Maguire was an officer with the Hillsborough police department from 1984 until his retirement in 2008. During his tenure, he held many positions, including patrolman, detective, hostage negotiator, undercover narcotics officer and police liaison to the township Office of Emergency Management. Following the September 2001 terrorist attacks, Mr. Maguire worked on the FBI’s World Trade Center Task Force’s forensic unit.
With the Hillsborough squad, Mr. Maguire had been a crew chief, lieutenant and president. He was currently the supply officer, in charge of all medical and station supplies.
From 1982 until 1985, he was an EMT with Middlesex General Hospital (now Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital) in New Brunswick. In 1986, he wrote Hillsborough’s first mass casualty incident protocols and in 1987 became the EMS liaison to the newly formed township Office of Emergency Management.
After completing that assignment, he was appointed as the township’s deputy OEM coordinator and Hillsborough’s first municipal counter-terrorism coordinator, training other officers in counter-terrorism techniques.
Mr. Maguire held an associate’s degree in emergency disaster management and a bachelor’s degree in administration of justice. After retiring from the police department, he went back to school for two years and earned his National Registry and state paramedic certifications.