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Middletown’s Somerville honored for 50 years of community service

MIDDLETOWN — The members of the Township Committee in Middletown have honored a resident who has dedicated 50 years of his life to community service.

During a meeting on Oct. 17, Mayor Tony Perry issued a proclamation recognizing Thomas P. Somerville. According to the proclamation, Somerville became a member of the township’s Fairview First Aid Squad in September 1972.

He rose through the ranks, first serving as engineer, then as lieutenant, and eventually advanced to the position of first lieutenant. Somerville also served in administrative positions, including president. He is currently a trustee of the organization.

As an instructor for the squad since 1975, Somerville has taught cardiopulmonary resuscitation, first aid, extrication, rope rescue and other classes. This included extrication using the “Jaws of Life” when the first aid squad received the first “Jaws of Life” in Monmouth County in the mid-1970s, according to the proclamation.

Somerville designed ambulances for the squad that were capable of carrying traditional
ambulance equipment and extrication equipment including the “Jaws of Life.”

According to the proclamation, as a long-time member and boat handler of the Fairview Dive Team, Somerville provides command post coordination, ground support and surface support for the divers.

He is also an ice rescue technician and responded with the Fairview Dive Team to an incident in Monmouth Beach on Feb. 15, 1992 when a woman was pulled alive from her car that was submerged in the Shrewsbury River.

The Township Committee joined the Fairview First Aid Squad in honoring Somerville for 50 years of dedicated service to Middletown’s Emergency Medical Services Unit and the community’s residents.

In other business during the meeting, committee members appointed Michael Donahue, Michael Leeman, Antonio Tavares and Fernando Valente as Class III special law enforcement officers in the Middletown Township Police Department.

Class III officers are retired law enforcement officers who work on a part-time basis to provide security on school grounds, according to njfop.org.

The Class III officers will have the same authority and duties as regular, full-time police officers while providing school security and will be under the authority of the local police chief.

Finally, the committee members passed a resolution authorizing the submission of an application for funding to the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Transportation Alternatives SetAside Program 2023.

According to the resolution, municipal officials have designed the Campbell’s Junction improvement projectto meet all criteria necessary to receive funding under the Transportation Alternatives SetAside Program, and to maximize accessibility of multiple modes of surface transportation within Campbell’s Junction.”

“The primary activity within the project area will be to improve the overall safety and usability of the project area by completing activities that include, but are not limited to
accessibility improvements to the project area’s bus stop, construction of new sidewalks,
reconstruction of damaged sidewalks and the installation of new street lighting,” according to the resolution.

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