Martha Sword

“The squad gave me nine more years with Bill.”

My story is one of sheer gratitude. 

It was 15 years ago on a brutally cold January night when I found out I can’t live without the Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad. 

Our family was a victim of a home invasion. My husband Bill, two of our three children, my brother and a friend were sound asleep when a stranger pounded on our door, entered our kitchen, raged uncontrollably, stabbed my husband 12 times and then lunged after four Princeton police officers. 

Amid complete chaos and panic in our home, PFARS brought us under control, assessed Bill’s injuries, staunched his bleeding and arranged to airlift him to a trauma center in Trenton. Simply put, they saved his life. 

Their professionalism, speed, knowledge and efficiency made all the difference – it also changed Bill’s outlook. He never took one more day for granted, he celebrated each new day he was given. He never forgot the police and the EMTs who made that possible. 

Bill joined the advisory board of the rescue squad soon after the home invasion and was excited to help them explore the location and construction of a new headquarters. That was over a decade ago.

By a cruel twist of fate, my husband of 33 years, a Princeton resident all his life, was killed when a tree in our driveway came crashing down during Hurricane Sandy. Even on that horrific night, PFARS miraculously showed up in our driveway. Though they could not save him then, I would like to thank them again for risking life and limb on our family’s behalf. 

It’s because of their dedication to duty that I willingly agreed to be a part of a campaign for a new PFARS headquarters. What a privilege it is to give back to the squad and to honor Bill’s memory with this work.

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