Students devote time to South Orange rescue squad

Three Seton Hall undergrads are currently working as EMTs for the South Orange Rescue Squad (SORS).

One of them, sophomore Emily Turner said her desire to participate in being an EMT did not come about through her choice of major, nursing, but rather from her family history with emergency-related occupations.

“Once we get toned out, everyone moves toward the rig; we all get in and pull out and head towards the call,” Turner said. “The mood is mainly calm and everyone is thinking about what to get and what we may encounter. Sometimes when we get on the scene it is nothing like what we expected, so we go to every call with an open mind knowing that things can drastically change at any moment.”

Turner’s father is Chief of Rescue and Fire in her hometown of Milton, Vt., where she first became involved in emergency response.

She joined her local department four years ago and continued her EMS involvement when she got to Seton Hall.

However, since Seton Hall doesn’t have a department, Turner searched for a volunteer organization close to campus and found the South Orange Rescue Squad.

SORS is an organization comprised of men and women operating together to serve South Orange and its surrounding community, including Seton Hall, in case of any number of emergencies, according to the SORS web site.

The mission of SORS, according to their web site, is “to provide the residents of the Village of South Orange with high quality, rapid, and efficient emergency medical services through the efforts of highly trained volunteers using state of the art vehicles and medical equipment.”

The SORS Twitter page shows the vastness of the voluntary medical services the squad offers.

Each time a squad is sent out on a call, they tweet the type of emergency they are responding to, whether it be for a sudden injury, a chest pain or even an assault.

On Oct. 3, the Twitter page shows three response times from very early in the morning to nearly midnight the same day. The uncertainty of when an emergency can strike requires that volunteers are always on hand to respond.

Turner and Kim Pangilinan, another Seton Hall undergrad on the squad, said being a part of this group means sacrificing what little free time they in order to serve their community. Both Pangilinan and Turner work one shift a week.

Pangilinan works for twelve hours on Monday, and Turner works for ten hours on Friday.

The desire for these two to get out into the field and work has given them busy schedules.

“As a student, it’s pretty hectic, I have a night class three out of five days including a clinical from 3-9 at Valley Hospital, and a morning class on Friday,” Pagilinan said.

The SORS is and always has been strictly voluntary since its inception in 1952, which means that none of the squad members receive compensation for their medical or administrative work, according to the web site for the squad.

For Turner and Pagilinan, however, working for free does not seem to be an issue.

Turner said she volunteers her free time because she loves community service, which includes her drive to help a person in emergent need.

Pagilinan said she wants to pursue emergency medicine in the future. She said being an EMT is an opportunity to “get her feet wet in the field.”

Both Turner and Pagilinan said their fellow crew members provide an enjoyment and friendliness that makes working for the squad a fantastic experience.

“The South Orange Rescue Squad is filled with exceptional people who are there to help anyone,” Turner said. “I laugh about 95 percent of the time when I am with the squad because everyone loves to have a great time and they are all wonderful people to be around.”

Patrick Wedlock can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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