State pays tribute to local first responders

Members of Burlington Township’s emergency services honored at latest council meeting

Assemblywoman Carol Murphy came to Burlington Township Council’s Oct. 23 meeting to publicly recognize local first responders. From left are, Endeavor EMT President Joe Conrey, Director of Fire Services John Stewart, Fire Chief Craig Leshner, Murphy and Police Director Bruce Painter.

Stephen Finn

The Sun

When the Burlington Township Council met last Tuesday night for its regular meeting, the crowd consisted almost entirely of blue uniforms. Assemblywoman Carol Murphy was at the meeting to recognize the first responders of Burlington Township’s police and fire departments, as well as local emergency management services.

After the meeting was opened with a salute to the flag led by local Boy Scout Troop 10, Murphy was called on by Mayor Brian Carlin to present the township’s first responders with a resolution from the joint Senate and Assembly recognizing the work they do for their town.

“As you’ve heard me say over and over again, I’m a mayor who has not just the best governing body in the state of New Jersey but I’m also the mayor of a town that has outstanding first responder and emergency services. From the police department to the fire department to our rescue squad, all leave their egos at the door and deliver a high quality of service to the residents of Burlington Township,” said Carlin.

Murphy is travelling to towns throughout the county to recognize first responders. Police Director Bruce Painter, Fire Chief Craig Leshner, Director of Fire Services John Stewart and Endeavor EMT President Joe Conrey joined Murphy at the front of the room to accept the joint resolution.

“One of the things I’ve been trying to do as an assemblywoman is recognize those folks who do selfless deeds, who put others in front of themselves to make sure others are safe,” said Murphy.

She continued saying that too often people focus on what goes wrong and tend to overlook what emergency personnel bring to the community. She believes today, more than ever, our communities are dependent on the services they provide.

“I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge all of your accomplishments, all of your hard work that all of you do putting each of your members in harm’s way every day to make sure that we are safe and that we have the necessary tools and resources in order to be safe,” said Murphy.

Each member of the council had an opportunity to address first responders after Murphy’s speech and presentation.

“What a wonderful sight out here, a sea of blue. Police, firemen and EMS people and their support staff that make your jobs just a little easier. You are the guys and gals that protect our community,” said Councilman George Kozub. “I look around and say ‘wow, I see fathers and sons out in the audience that are still keeping the tradition alive with our various organizations, and that’s tough to do.’”

Councilman Carl Schoenborn shared a recent experience where local EMS came to his aid when he needed them most.

“On Memorial Day, I went to go to the bathroom and my wife was lying on the floor, she was basically unconscious. I tried to rouse her and check to see if there was any movement. I went and called 911 and EMTs and police came over at the same time,” said Schoenborn.

The responders were able to revive her and she was taken to Virtua Hospital. Schoenborn was grateful for their swift response and “top notch” work and reports that his wife is back in good health.