In early 1936, six members of the Far Hills - Bedminster Fire Company traveled to Somerville once a week for ten weeks to receive basic training in first aid. After the intensive program, members decided it was time to purchase an ambulance. The first ambulance was housed in the rear of the firehouse. Prior to this, local doctors did everything they could for their patients. Anything that went beyond their scope of expertise, they sent to a local hospital. Patients traveled mostly by private car, but there were special cases in which patients traveled by an ambulance sent by the local hospital.
Eventually, the fire company got their own ambulance. The first ambulance was a Nash, which did not provide for a very smooth ride. Thereafter, Cadillacs were purchased. Then, in 1941, the Far Hills-Bedminster First Aid Squad was incorporated. It separated from the fire company and became an independent entity, able to make its own fund raising and spending decisions.
The charter members were: Leslie Apgar, Jack Clelland, Arthur Hall, Edward Kouflie, Bard Moran, Raymond Olson, Harold Sueter, and Nelson Wortman. They were all members of the Union Hook & Ladder Company.
In 1961 the squad purchased Plectrons for toning calls to members regarding location and reason for call. Prior to this, The Welsh Family, volunteers of the fire company, would receive the emergency call and sound the alarm. Once additional members arrived at the fire house, they would find out the nature of the emergency.
In 1962 it was decided that women could join the squad. The first, Virginia Dillon of Far Hills, joined in Jan. 1963, the second, Anne O’Brien of Bedminster, joined in Feb. 1963, and the third, Martha Regan of Far Hills, joined in June of 1963.
Several years later, the state introduced new courses in first aid. The first course was a Standard First Aid course which consisted of 18 hours of training. The second course was an Advanced First Aid course which was approximately 50 hours. Then, in 1972, the first CPR course was introduced in New Jersey. Also around 1972, the State of New Jersey started the Emergency Medical Technician course. It consisted of 100 hours of training, plus 10 hours in an emergency or cardiac department. Also, squad members were required to take defensive driving and light rescue courses.
Also in 1972, the squad started looking for property on which to build their own building. The property was found in Bedminster. Each member was asked to draw a sketch of what they though the building should look like. Finally a composite was chosen and construction began. The building was finished and dedicated in 1974.
Today, the squad consists of qualified drivers who are required to have CPR training, and EMTs who are now required to attend many other courses due to the changing world. Our squad also has a Junior Squad consisting of a number of young men and women ages ranging from 16-18.