Wall Township First Aid & Rescue Squad recently received a formal recognition delivered by two visitors from the Royal Naval Association. Paul and Ann Watson visited the Squad following the 9/11 Memorial Service held on September 10, 2016 at the Wall Township municipal building. The Watsons are active members of their local Royal Naval Association, with Paul having joined the merchant marine at the age of 16 and crossing the Atlantic Ocean multiple times. Paul transferred to the Royal Navy where he served for almost three decades, finishing out his career as a Chief Petty Officer. His tours of duty included service in the South Atlantic during the conflict between the UK and Argentina over the disputed Falkland Islands.
Paul’s brother has been an active member of the Wall First Aid Squad for over 15 years. Paul has taken an interest in Squad activities as the UK EMS system is similar in type of response, but very different in administration. In recent years, managing first response has been the subject of much debate in the UK which has tried different approaches, including medics on motor cycles, and utilizing volunteers. The use of volunteers is unique within the UK as the majority of first responders and medics are part of a nationally unified, paid service.
During a trip to the US last year, Paul attended a Squad business meeting, and enjoyed a tour of the ambulances and rescue truck. Upon his return to the UK, he extended the Squad’s good wishes to his local branch of the Royal Naval Association. They responded by creating two gifts for the Squad. One is a framed lithograph showing Nelson’s flagship, the HMS Victory. The other is an association pennant, one of only three in the world, that is unique to Paul’s branch of the Royal Naval Association. These were formally presented to the Squad immediately after the 9/11 memorial.
The Watsons equate service to the local community with service to country, and hope to welcome any Squad members that visit the UK.
Paul and Ann Watson making the presentation to Squad Captain Joe Messer.