The Upper Greenwood Lake Ambulance Corps will celebrate the opening of their newly renovated corps building on Warwick Turnpike on Sunday, Nov. 15, at noon.
During the open house they will dedicate the building to honor the Hajek family and a total of 97 years of their volunteer public service.
The Upper Greenwood Lake Ambulance Corps was organized in 1955 after a tragic drowning in the lake alerted the community to the need to have local emergency service available.
The late Ted Hajek Sr. was one of the leaders who got the movement for an ambulance corps started and he worked at keeping it going for the rest of his life.
His wife Florence (“Flo”) was equally dedicated and was a leader in starting and serving in a Ladies Auxiliary and their ongoing efforts to keep the ambulance corps service financially secure.
It was a time when no township funds were provided to the all-volunteer emergency service groups.
The first time
Their son Ted Hajek Jr. got involved at the young age of 15 during a heavy snow blizzard. It was impossible for the ambulance to get through the deep snow to get to a patient. The crew gave Ted a bulky resuscitator and told him to take it to the home of the patient in need of help. They ultimately brought the person out to Warwick Turnpike on a toboggan. It was the beginning of Ted’s lifelong commitment to help others.
He continues the family tradition of volunteering to provide assistance to people with medical emergencies. Ted is president of the organization, a position he has held multiple times over the years. He is also an active EMT and ambulance crew chief.
West Milford PD
His younger brother Richard (“Rick”) Hajek joined the squad as a junior member in 1970. Rick then served as an adult until he became a member of the West Milford Police Department in 1979. His community service continued in his appointment as a DARE officer when he met children in all township schools and was known as Officer Rick. Following serious injuries in a motor vehicle crash he retired as a Department Detective after working 25 years as a police officer.
Jr.’s wife Patricia joined the ambulance corps after completing training. She became an EMT. Patricia was a registered nurse and worked at Holy Name Friary in Ringwood and was a school nurse for St. Catherine and Our Lady Queen of Peace Parochial Schools.
The corps is in need of new members in order to cover all emergency shifts. The open house will be a good place to meet people serving in the squad and get information about volunteering.