On Sunday, October 9, Chief Bruce Mandel, the leader of the Maplewood Volunteer First Aid Squad who died suddenly last Monday while on duty, was remembered in a way that would make him proud.
In the brilliant sunshine of an unseasonably warm fall morning, people showed up in numbers far greater than last year's 5K First Aid Squad walk to honor Bruce and raise funds for his beloved Squad.
Before the walk began, Mayor Vic DeLuca read a proclamation outlining many of Bruce's accomplishments and contributions.
Encouraged to volunteer by his parents, Bruce became an EMT in Morristown at the age of 17. He also went to Israel and worked as a combat medic for four years in the Israeli Defence Forces.
In 2002, Bruce joined the Maplewood Volunteer First Aid Squad and became Captain in 2003. He taught CPR, First Aid and other life-saving techniques. Throughout his volunteer career, he is credited with responding to 19,000 calls and training 10,000 people.
Today's walk drew 38 of Bruce's immediate family members, including his children, parents, four siblings and 24 nieces and nephews. Neighbors and friends, as well as members of other area rescue squads, also walked.
Walkers gathered at the Squad house on Boyden and followed the route: Boyden to Springfield Avenue to Tuscan Road, then to Valley Street to Parker and back to Boyden.
If you missed the walk on this gloriously beautiful day, there are still ways for you to honor this remarkable man and support the First Aid Squad:
- On Saturday, October 22, from 9-5, The Maplewood First Aid Squad is sponsoring a .
- They are also sponsoring on November 19 at Maplewood Middle School.
For more information, visit www.maplewoodfirstaid.org or call 800-327-7617. Your support will perpetuate an important pillar of our community — the Maplewood Volunteer First Aid Squad.