Maplewoodians learn about first response in town

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MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Maplewood’s first responders gathered on Valley Street for the Maplewood Safety Fair, allowing young residents to sound the sirens and learn how an ambulance operates. Organized by Tony Avila, the owner of American Jiu Jitsu of Maplewood, instructors also taught self-defense tactics.

“We wanted to give people a chance to learn about law enforcement and push all the buttons in the cars,” Avila joked in an interview with the News-Record at the event. “This is a good way to have residents meet the first responders.”

South Orange Rescue Squad members John Guterman and Katrina Guterman demonstrated how to get a stretcher out of the ambulance and then back into it with a person on it. They also showed residents how the chairlift works, and gave tours of the vehicle’s interior.

The Maplewood Police Department handed out information about bicycle safety and showed off how the lights and sirens on a police car function, and Maplewood firefighters Sal Aliano and Billy Davitt showed off Engine 32, with all the gear and equipment on display.

Photos by Amanda Valentovic