Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad building honored by national magazine


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Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad members are proud of their new headquarters at the corner of Mount Lucas Road and Valley Road, and now that pride has been validated by Firehouse magazine in its annual Station Design Awards competition.

The new building, which was completed in late 2019, was given the Silver Award by the fire service trade publication in the category of “Volunteer/Combination Departments,” said Mark Freda, president of the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad.

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A combination department is staffed by career emergency responders and volunteer responders. The Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad is staffed by eight career emergency medical technicians daytime during the week, and by volunteer emergency medical technicians overnight and on weekends.

The purpose of the Firehouse magazine competition is to share trends and innovations in new and renovated public safety facilities across North America. The Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad was among 74 entrants in the contest.

The Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad is proud to have received the award, Freda said. It reflects the support of the community, the hard work of the squad members involved in the project, and the architectural firm of H2M and the construction firm of C. Raymond Davis & Son, he said.

“Our new headquarters is beautiful, functional and well-constructed. I am thrilled with the building. It will be a great asset to the community for decades to come,” Freda said.

The Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, which does not receive funding from the Municipality of Princeton, raised $7 million to pay for the new building.

At 15,000 square feet, the new building is triple the size of the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad’s former building on North Harrison Street, next to the Princeton Shopping Center. It had been the squad’s home since 1963.

The Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad’s career emergency medical technicians and its volunteer emergency medical technicians had outgrown the building, which is about 5,000 square feet.

Some of the squad’s ambulances were housed inside the building, and the rest of the equipment was stored outside under awnings. There are four ambulances, a heavy rescue truck, a rescue trailer, a boat and two utility vehicles.

All of the equipment fits inside the new building, Freda said.

But that’s not all that is inside the four deep bays in the new building, he said. Along one wall, there is a training area where members can practice special rescue skills, such as rescuing victims from tight spaces.

The new building has a kitchen and dining area for the career emergency medical technicians and the volunteers, Freda said. There is a community room that can be used for training purposes.

There is a conference room, and a “duty room” with desks and computers so the crew who is on duty can fill out paperwork after a call is completed.

Nearby, there are offices for the president, the chief and the development officer.

Since volunteers who have signed up for an overnight shift need a place to sleep, there are six bunk rooms. There are three to six volunteer emergency medical technicians on an overnight shift, but the bunk rooms can accommodate as many as 12 volunteers, Freda said.

There is a gym or workout room, and a social room with a TV and comfortable seating, Freda said. There is also a quiet room for volunteers who may need to study. Many of the volunteers are Princeton University students.

“We put a lot of thought into what we think is needed to make the building as attractive to the volunteers as possible,” Freda said. Those amenities will help to attract volunteers and to keep them, he said.

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