HAPPENING NOW: Branchburg Rescue is currently providing Rehab Services at a structure fire in Raritan Boro. Special Ops 1, BLS 4 and BLS 5 are on scene.
Last night, members of the Branchburg Rescue Squad were requested to standby at our station to provide mutual aid support to surrounding towns as their emergency service volunteers operated at Bound B...
HAPPENING NOW: Branchburg Rescue is currently on scene providing Rehab for a structure fire in Raritan Boro.
Monday, March 25th, 2019
HAPPENING NOW: Branchburg Rescue is currently on scene providing Rehab for a 2nd alarm Branchburg fire call.
Tuesday, February 11th, 2020
On Saturday night, Branchburg Rescue held its annual Installation Dinner. Branchburg Township Mayor, Thomas Young, swore in our 2020 Executive & Line Officers, Trustees and all other members. A bi...
Friday, February 7th, 2020
Today we honor Past President and Life Member Diane Hoffman 💙
Tuesday, February 4th, 2020
It is with an extremely heavy heart that we announce the passing of one of our life members, Diane Hoffman. Diane has been a member of our organization for 23 years and led us as President for 8 of th...
A HUGE congratulations to our very own FF/EMT Taylor Dodge on graduating Navy Recruit Training and becoming a United States Navy Sailor. We’re so proud of you!




Compiled by: Keith James, Historian, June 2006

1954 ~ Branchburg Rescue Squad officially organizes as “Central Branchburg Fire & Rescue Squad” 11/16/1954


1955 ~ First Ambulance purchased from Whitehouse Rescue Squad, a 1937 model  followed by a 1947 ambulance.  Based out of Nicks Auto Body (now Valero Gas). Incorporated with a name change to “Branchburg Rescue Squad, Inc.”


1959 ~ Completed Squad building on current donated property. 2 bays and a hall for dances, catered events and bingo.


1960 ~ 3rd Ambulance purchased, a Classic Cadillac


1965 ~ Addition to building added Kitchen and storage annex to parking lot side


1978 ~ First “Crash Truck” purchased  ‘78 Chevy Utility


1980 ~ First “Modular” ambulance purchased, a Ford Horton


1985 and 1988 ~ Replacement Ambulances purchased


1989 ~ Replaced original Crash Truck with a E-One International Heavy Rescue


1989 ~ 2nd addition to building completed, renovating front bays, adding 15 feet to front of building, allowing new vehicles to be able to be housed


1993 ~ Township of Branchburg funds first PL Custom Ambulance


1997 ~ New Ambulance adds 3rd ambulance to Squad


1998 ~ Squad purchases First Responder Expedition


1999 ~ 3rd addition to building adds 3rd bay and renovations to hall, kitchen, bathrooms and duty rooms.


2001 ~ Replacement Ambulance purchase allows conversion of old K&S Ambulance to become a Water Rescue Vehicle


2005 ~ PL/Rescue1 Support Vehicle purchased to replace aging Water Truck, for expanding Water & Rehab needs


2005 ~ Squad celebrated 50 years of Volunteer service to our community


2006 ~ Replacement of Crash Truck with a Heavy Rescue Services Unit from Rescue 1



 History of the Branchburg Rescue Squad
(As published 1959 Building Dedication)

 In October 1954, five men met in one man’s home for the founding of a Rescue Squad.

The Branchburg Rescue Squad had its beginning November 16, 1954, when five men filed incorporation papers for the Central Branchburg Fire & Rescue Squad.

Anthony Olesh, in whose home the first meeting of the volunteer group was held, was named President.  Artie Van Arsdale Vice President, Homer Utter Secretary, and Frederick Williams Treasurer, Nicholas De Roda the fifth member, trustee.  Artie Van Arsdale Captain, Home Utter First Lieutenant, Frederick Williams Second Lieutenant.  Nicholas DeRoda furnished his service station on U.S. Highway 202 as headquarters, for the infant organization.

A 1937 Packard ambulance was purchased for $700 from the Whitehouse Rescue Squad, which is still employed as a “spare rig” for transportation calls made in advance.  To raise the necessary money the fire members signed their names to a note for $700 due the Somerville Trust Company.  The Squad will be ever grateful to the bank for its confidence.

The first payment of $300 on the initial note was made ot the bank in April 1955 which waws part of the first fund drive.  The Packard was paid off in a year after the incorporation papers were signed.

Active operation of the Branchburg Rescue Squad, Inc began in April 1955, after months of preparation.  In December of the same year, a 1947 Cadillac ambulance was bought for $1,500 from the Roselle Fire Dept. Rescue Squad, and again a loan was secured from the Trust Co. 

Mr. Olesh unfortunately was forced to resign from the Presidency before completing his second year term.  Frank Norman, Vice President was named to fill out the remaining months of the term.

In 1956, a building committee was formed.  At its first meeting, Mr. Norman was elected chairman.  A month after the building committee began, plans for a building were submitted and approved by the Squad.

There began the search fo a lot near the center of the Township which was found on River Rd at the junction of Route 202, which the Squad purchased for $1,000.

To raise money for the Building Fund, the Squad staged scrap drives, an auction, a Donkey Baseball Game, dances and stood by during rodeos at the Silver Saddle Ranch.

During these early formative days both ambulances were sheltered in the private garage of Mr. & Mrs. Utter.  Both of the family cars through their sacrifice were parked out-of-doors in the driveway.

In May of 1955 Squadmen made one of their first apperances at a public event – taking part in the Lions Club sponsored Memorial Day Parade in Neshanic Station.  It was also the first holiday the Rescuers conducted a standby, setting up their equipment on Route 202 to be in a better position to answer calls made in connection with accidents from the heavy traffic.  Now standys are a regular holiday occurrence, rigs being set up on both U.S. Highways 202 and 22.

In December 1956, Frank Norman was elected to the President for 1957.  At this time Mr. Utter was named Building Chairman.  At a subsequent meeting of the Squad that committee termed as “a bit fantastic” informal bids from $27,000 to $35,000 from contractors who were asked for quotations on the buildings construction.  The Squad by securing the time and effort of its members can do it for $15,000, the committee figured.

In September 1956, a $16,000 mortgage was secured from the Somerville Trust Company, trustees fo the Squad putting their “John Hancocks” to the loan.  The building committee at this time was given stronger powers tot act, and the membership offered to construct as much of the building as possible themselves.

During 1956 the Squad was honored by winning the Fifth District plaque.  This was given for having the most men present at the first aid seminars conducted by the organization which comprises Rescue Squads throughout the district – which includes Somerset County.

(To be continued)


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