‘Blessed to have him in my life:’ Sen. Booker's chief of staff serves as EMS volunteer at night

A former EMT, who is also Sen. Cory Booker's chief of staff, returned to service last month during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic to help out at night.

News 12 Staff

May 22, 2020, 12:10 PM

Updated 1,421 days ago

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A former EMT, who is also Sen. Cory Booker's chief of staff, returned to service last month during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic to help out at night.
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Matt Klapper is a former firefighter, and also used to serve as a crew chief on Springfield's Ambulance Squad.
He returned to Springfield last month and volunteered for 240 hours, which equates to more than 60 hours a week.
"Hearing that he'd come back was really important to me because I knew I could trust him, because we used to ride as partners,” says Springfield First Aid Squad Training Officer Lt. Jeff Shanes. “We were EMS partners for years. My son is currently riding and it turns out he's Matt Klapper's partner as well."
In a statement, Klapper says, "This is an incredibly trying time for our firefighters, EMTs, police officers, health care professionals, essential workers and their families. I came back to do my very small part and pitch in, just as so many former first responders have done."
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“If he can make that kind of difference for New Jersey and that community, that is the county that he works in, Union County, one of the hardest hit in our state, he was going to do it and it was admirable,” says Sen. Booker. “I’ve always been blessed to have him in my life and as a friend and partner since the days I was a city council person, so I’m just grateful for the leader that he is and the example he sets."

Klapper spent six weeks isolated from his family, in all. He spent four weeks on the ambulance, and just finished two weeks in quarantine.


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