In 1937 the concept of community ambulance service was started in Woodbridge Township with the organization of the Woodbridge Emergency Squad. The Squad consisted of volunteers who responded from home to the station for emergencies. As the population grew, the St. John’s First Aid Squad was organized to cover the southern part of the township. After World War II and the influx of people moving to the suburbs the Avenel-Colonia, Iselin, Hopelawn and Colonia First Aid Squads were formed and in 1970 and the Port Reading First Aid Squad was organized.
Up until the late 1980 with manufacturing jobs and shift workers, squads were staffed by volunteers 24 hours a day. As the 1980’s approached, there was a shortage of volunteers and the squads had to rely on mutual aid. By 1995 there was a critical shortage of day time volunteers and the Woodbridge Emergency Squad placed paid EMT’s for day time coverage.
In 1996, daytime staffing was at a critical level and a meeting of the Township First Aid Squads was coordinated by the Iselin First Aid Squad to discuss consolidation. It was clear that consolidation was needed to continue to provide EMS services in the Township. Unfortunately, the outcome was that most Squads didn’t want to give up their independence and wanted to continue on their current path. The Woodbridge Emergency Squad and Iselin First Aid Squad decided to consolidate their service forming the Woodbridge Township Ambulance & Rescue Squad which was incorporated in 1997.
In 1997, the Squad was licensed by the New Jersey Department of Health as a basic life support provider and started billing for service to fund payroll and benefits to our staff during daytime hours.
By 1998 the Rescue Squad was looking for a centralized location in the township to construct a modern and efficient headquarters to operate. Knowing that the consolidation of squads would eventually occur, we found property that was located at the intersection of Route 1 and 9 close to the geographic center of the township. The property was purchased by the Rescue Squad and planning was started for the new headquarters at 77 Queen Road, Iselin, NJ in 2004.
In 2006 The Hopelawn First Aid Squad contacted the Rescue Squad and became an affiliate of the Squad, moving their operations from Hopelawn to the new Rescue Squad Headquarters.