By the 1970s the number of volunteers grew, women had joined the WOFAS ranks and more space was needed. The squad was moved to a larger location at 25 Mount Pleasant Place, where it is still located today.
Today, the West Orange First Aid Squad continues to provide emergency medical care to the Township of West Orange. It is one of the few squads in New Jersey to offer an in-house, 24-hour crew. Its roster of some 50 volunteers go through an extensive training program, so they can work as a team with other town agencies including the fire department and police department responding to more than 2,500 calls annually.
WOFAS was born, has grown, and continues to flourish with the stalwart support and generous donations of the residents, community groups, and businesses of West Orange. Our history is rooted in yours and we could not be prouder!!
In the late 1950s to early 1960s the Department of Civil Defense-Disaster Control (CD-DC) in West Orange began a series of residence training programs which focused on Home Preparedness; fire safety, home protection, and elementary first aid. These sessions were very well attended. At various township sponsored functions, the CD-DC would have the local Boy Scout troop set up a first aid tent to care for minor injuries. In those days, for serious injuries, the fire department had an ambulance located at First Station #4 on Pleasant Valley Way. The personnel were not properly trained, and the equipment was lacking, but they did the best they could with what was available. (It is important to note that it was not until nearly 1970 that there were any governmental regulations or industry standards for ambulance service.)
Circa 1963, at a monthly CD-DC meeting a police auxiliary officer proposed creating a first aid unit. Information was gathered from the NJ Safety Council, and various township officials were contacted, resulting in the decisions that an emergency first aid unit should be created. After some debate, it was decided that it would be a separate volunteer organization. Volunteers were sought and a training program was started.
In 1964, a municipal Resolution recognized the West Orange First Aid Squad (WOFAS) as an official provider of emergency medical services to the community. In October of that same year, WOFAS incorporated itself as a non-profit organization and was granted tax-exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Today, more than 50 YEARS later, the West Orange First Aid Squad remains a non-profit, is fully governed and controlled by an all-volunteer Board of Trustees, maintains a predominantly volunteer membership roster, and continues to enjoy tax-exempt status.
West Orange First Aid Squad emergency medical service