A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

History: Founding of Cliffwood First Aid Squad (1954) and Matawan First Aid Squad (1934)

The Cliffwood First Aid Squad was organized at the Cliffwood firehouse in Cliffwood, New Jersey on 4 Mar 1954, according to the 11 Mar 1954 edition of The Matawan Journal. The unit would temporarily be housed at the firehouse, but a property at the corner of Amboy Road and Prospect Avenue was being eyed for a permanent headquarters. The squad received a favorable price on an ambulance from Hopelawn First Aid Squad, which got its ambulance from the Woodbridge squad. Fundraising for a permanent site would begin in the fall, but the squad would begin operations circa May 1954.

The officers named to lead the new unit were:
  • Roy Matthews, President
  • John B Kenner, Vice President
  • Edward P Cooper, Secretary
  • James Frost, Treasurer
  • Peter C Vena, Karl Schneck, Charles Maurer, Robert Savage, John Kucharek, Charles Eiflander, and George Morgan, Trustees
Matawan and Aberdeen: Of Town and Field, by Helen Henderson, pp 122-23, said this unit started with $150 and a 1931 LaSalle ambulance. The station house on Prospect was dedicated in June 1966 and is still in use. 

The Matawan First Aid Squad was established at an organizational meeting at the Washington Engine House on 8 Jan 1934, according to the 12 Jan 1934 edition of The Matawan Journal.

Its founding officers:
  • Andrew Hulsart, President
  • Andrew Boice, Vice President
  • John Tourino, Recording Secretary and Treasurer
  • E S Hallack, Chief Advisor
  • Robert Colot, Assistant Chief Advisor
  • Clarence Stultz, Second Assistant Advisor
The Matawan First Aid Squad was housed for twelve years at the Washington Engine House on Little Street. A new Matawan First Aid Headquarters was established on Main Street in early 1946, according to multiple references in the 7 Feb 1946 edition of The Matawan Journal. Herbert Sprague provided the overhead costs; the Democratic Club voted to start meeting in the new building. The Ladies Auxiliary provided the drapes.

Photograph of the new Matawan First Aid Headquarters and the Cliffwood First Aid Squad ambulance can be found in "Around Matawan and Aberdeen," by Helen Henderson, pg 74.

The Matawan Borough website's history page -- what appears to be a verbatim rendering of an article in the 21 Dec 2000 edition of The Asbury Park Press -- erroneously claims the date and details of the Cliffwood unit's 4 Mar 1954 founding as its own. The Matawan First Aid Squad was founded twenty years earlier than Cliffwood's squad. C'mon folks: The borough should compose its own history page.


  1. I think VP might have been John Kenner, not Kemper.

  2. The image was very difficult to read. Glad to have corrections. Figured to get some. Thanks.