May Member Spotlight

As the Squad rounds out May, we would like to spotlight a relatively new volunteer to our agency who brings with him plenty of experience, Stephen Indoe. Steve joined FRFARS when he moved to the Flemington area with his family in August of 2019. He has also volunteered with Pequannock First Aid & Rescue Squad and Pequannock Township Fire Company 2, amassing over 14 years of experience as an EMT and over 12 years of experience as a firefighter. Steve is very passionate about EMS and firefighting and is pleased to share his skills and experience with his new community as a member of the Squad.

Steve attended Ramapo College of New Jersey where he studied Law and Society before going on to work for the New Jersey Department of Corrections where he is currently a Senior Correctional Police Officer. He worked in Hunterdon County at the Mountainview Youth Correctional Facility for four years and is now assigned to the Central Transportation Unit.

When Steve is not volunteering with the Squad or working, he spends time with his wife Ellen (herself, a former volunteer EMT at FRFARS) and his three children, Melodie (6), Caroline (2) and Austin (8 months). As a die hard Yankees Fan, Steve looks forward to bringing each of his three children to their first Yankees game. He also enjoys reading, cooking, and outdoor activities.

Never one to stop learning, Steve is enrolled in several upcoming rescue courses to broaden his skill sets and to participate in some of the specialized services that the Squad offers to the community. He is also part of the Squad’s Capital Campaign Committee, which is currently working to raise funds for the construction of our new headquarters on Royal Road.

To those considering joining the Squad, Steve says, “I encourage anyone who has an interest in the medical field or is looking for a way to give back to the community to join FRFARS. Although most people are very busy these days it is hard to find the time to volunteer, serving your community as a volunteer EMT is very rewarding. Upon joining FRFARS, I was immediately welcomed by the membership and felt like part of a family. I am confident that any new member interested in joining will have the same positive experience.”

April Member Spotlight

As the COVID-19 situation enters its second month of pandemic status in the United States, the Squad’s day-to-day operations continue and evolve under the leadership of our Chief, Tom Hoffman.A life-long Hunterdon County resident, Chief Hoffman started his work in emergency services nearly 40 years ago in Tewksbury Township. He graduated Voorhees High School before furthering his emergency services education studying Fire Science at Texas A&M University and Paramedicine at Hahnemann University. Additionally, he holds a degree in business from LaSalle University.

In 1988, Chief Hoffman moved to Raritan Township, joining our agency in 1989 where he met Karen Grimm. He and Karen soon married and started their family in the area, raising twins Travis and KC, now adults in their late 20s. Karen, Travis, and KC have all been members of the Squad. While KC now lives out of state, Karen and Travis remain active.

Chief Hoffman currently works full time with Hunterdon Medical Center as an EMS Educator and an MICU Paramedic. He is also an instructor at the Hunterdon County Emergency Services Training Center where he teaches advanced courses. He serves as a Rescue Squad Officer for New Jersey Task Force 1, one of only 28 FEMA Urban Search and Rescue teams in the nation. He has deployed with NJTF-1 as both a Medical Specialist and Rescue Specialist during numerous large-scale disasters. In 2015, he served on the team developing Hunterdon County’s response to the EBOLA virus outbreak.Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, Chief Hoffman has been in daily contact with other medical, health, scientific, and emergency services experts, collaborating to ensure the best possible practices are followed by the Squad. Procedures have been implemented and continuously refined to provide our responders, patients, and communities with the absolute safest and best emergency medical service possible.

Chief Hoffman never fails to let members know that it is their dedication and professionalism that makes the Squad’s ongoing pandemic response successful. While this year has brought unprecedented challenges, our Squad and Community benefit from having Chief Hoffman at the helm to guide us through these uncharted waters. As he always reminds his crews, “This is not a time to panic, we will get through this together.”

Photo: Chief Tom Hoffman (right) with his son, Lieutenant Travis Hoffman (left).

January Member Spotlight

As we start out with a new year, we want to take a moment to recognize another one of our volunteers. This month we would like to recognize firefighter-EMT Tonya Gruchacz. She been local to Hunterdon County her whole life, and has two kids Brooke and TJ. Tonya works full time as an administrative assistant. Tonya is currently going back to school for an Associate of Applied Science in Paramedic Emergency Health Science. Tonya is commonly described as hardworking, trustworthy, and is always willing to offer up the lending hand. Tonya has been with Flemington – Raritan First Aid & Rescue Squad for a little over 3 years. She currently serves as the recording secretary. Tonya is also a Firefighter of Raritan Twp Fire Company and Glen Gardner Fire Company. When she is not serving with one of these departments she can also be found working with a hot air balloon team where she helps with a launching, tracking and landing of the hot air balloon. If she can manage to find more spare time she enjoys cooking, camping, traveling and spending time with family and friends.

December Member Spotlight

December’s Member Spotlight features a man who, following in his father’s footsteps, has been  involved in serving his community from a young age. At only twenty years old, EMT and Firefighter Robert (Robby) Motzel is no stranger to emergency services. Growing up, Robby’s father was very involved in emergency services, serving as the Chief of the Flemington Fire Department and as an EMT for approximately 10 years. As a result, Robby practically grew up in the firehouse. Recognizing his sense of service, Robby’s mother was the first person to encourage him to obtain his EMT certification.

Robby first joined the squad in 2016 at the age of 17 shortly after completing his Firefighter 1 course. He saw challenge and opportunity in gaining his EMT certification and serving the community through the Squad. Robby is also a member of Flemington Fire Department and was recently elected to a Lieutenant position. When Robby is not on an ambulance or fire truck, he enjoys playing a round of golf. 

Robby is currently attending Raritan Valley Community College to obtain a criminal justice degree in hopes of eventually landing a job in law enforcement. When he is not going to school or volunteering at the Squad, he works at Copper Hill Country Club.

According to Robby being part of the rescue squad is “a life changing experience for the better, you get to meet all kinds of amazing people on and off calls and it’s a way to give back to your community.” 

November Member Spotlight

November’s  Member Spotlight is Dhwanil Kadakia. Dhwanil is a fourth year student at the New Jersey Institute of Technology majoring in Management Information Systems. Aside from volunteering and attending school, he is also a professional DJ. People describe him as loyal, hardworking, responsible, and caring. In the future Dhwanil sees himself working for a fire department in a large metropolitan area in New Jersey. When he is not volunteering, he spends time hanging out with friends, DJing, or working. Dhwanil is the first firefighter in his entire family tree. He was recognized by Congressman Lenoard Lance in 2015 for “Amazing Kids in Business.” 

Dhwanil has been a part of FRFARS for the past 5 years. In that time he has gone from being a junior member, at the age of 16, to the EMS Captain. He has obtained his EMT, Firefighter 1, and Firefighter 2 certifications and has logged hundreds of hours of technical rescue training and certification.

Everyone who knows him knows he volunteers for FRFARS. They are all very proud of him saying that, “he is following his dreams.” To those that are interested in joining FRFARS, Dhwanil says, “You are joining a family. When things get rough we are all here for each other. You will learn more than you could ever believe and you will have the time of your life.” 

Anyone interested in joining please visit http://www.frfars.org/joinnow

September Member Spotlight

September’s member spotlight features EMT Randy Mabie. Randy joined the Squad as a certified EMT in 2013 while simultaneously volunteering for another EMS organization. Like many of our members, Randy was drawn to FRFARS due to the high call volume which provides our EMTs with opportunity to keep their skills sharp while helping others. Six years on, FRFARS proved to be a good fit for Randy who enjoys a good challenge, likes to learn, and enjoys motivating others.
Like many of our members who began EMS as adults, Randy works full-time outside of the emergency services community. He currently works for a firm specializing in mergers and acquisitions helping to transform business and technology processes. When not working or volunteering his time as an EMT, Randy enjoys spending time with his wife of 28 years, Hannah, and their two college-age children. The whole family enjoys outdoor activities, including camping, running, and mountain biking. Randy is also a US Air Force veteran.

To other working adults considering volunteering with the Squad, Randy has a simple piece of advice: “Do it. It feels great to give back and work with a professional team. We have flexible hours and will work around your job.”

Member Spotlight

The Flemington – Raritan First Aid & Rescue Squad is excited to announce the start of a new program, Member Spotlight. Once a month we will be spotlighting one of our members along with their contributions and achievements within our organization and our community.

With the 4th of July stirring our patriotism, we figured there was no better place to start than with one of our younger members who recently enlisted in the United States Army with the goal of becoming a combat medic.

EMT Kelly Franchino

Following in her sister Lisa’s footsteps, EMT Kelly Franchino, 18, joined the department at the age of 16. In the spring of 2018, Kelly completed the required training and passed the testing to earn her New Jersey Emergency Medical Technician Certification. Kelly sharpened her skills as one of our junior members over the past two years. In May, Kelly moved to a full adult member of the organization. She recently graduated from Hunterdon Central High School and enlisted with the US Army. She reports to boot camp in early August.  In addition to her hard work and dedication to FRFARS, Kelly is a lifeguard/swim instructor at Little Dolphins Swim Academy. She enjoys cheerleading and Irish step dancing. If you happen to see Kelly out and about, please help us in wishing her the best of luck as she pursues her career in the US Army as a combat medic (68W).

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