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The Devils and Somerville kick off 2014-15 “My Town” series

by Gordy Stillman / New Jersey Devils
Steve Weinman, President of the Somerville Rescue Squad was honored as the Hero of the Game, December 19 as part of the "My Town" series. Photo by Courtney Gfroerer

Longtime Somerville, NJ EMT and volunteer Steve Weinman didn’t join emergency service more than 30 years ago for the admiration. Before he humbly accepted the Hero of the Game recognition during Friday’s Devils-Lightning game at Prudential Center, Weinman, who now serves as president of the Somerville Rescue Squad, spoke of his neighbors and future volunteers as the driving force behind his service, saying, “I do it for the community, and I love mentoring the next generation.”

Weinman’s decoration was part of the Somerville “My Town” night, the first in a series of special game nights during the 2014-15 Devils season where Prudential Center and the team celebrates and honors the communities, families and leaders of towns across the Garden State.

Students of the Somerville Martial Arts Academy snap boards as they perform for fans before the game. Photo by Courtney Gfroerer

In his current role, Weinman oversees the agency responsible for both EMS and rescue operations in Somerville. He’s a registered nurse by training, with time served as an emergency and flight nurse, and experience teaching and training other EMTs. In addition to his role with the Somerville Rescue Squad, Weinman is also a founder and board member of the Somerset County Chief EMS Officers Association and acts as Somerville’s Emergency Management Coordinator and Somerset County’s Deputy EMS Coordinator.

Beyond honoring Weinman, Devils fans were treated to performances on the concourse by some of the Somerville community’s most talented children . Before the game, members of the Somerville Martial Arts Academy performed outside the Fire Lounge, demonstrating combinations of kicks and punches before making the crowd roar with board-breaking techniques that included leaps over each other and snapping wooden planks. Later in the same area, the Somerville YMCA Dance program entertained fans waiting for the game’s final frame.

Members of the Somerville YMCA Dance Program entertained fans during the second intermission. Photo by Courtney Gfroerer.

For the Star Spangled Banner, members of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department served as the Honor Guard, presenting the flags on the ice. On the scoreboard during the first intermission, a video showcasing some of Somerville’s unique landmarks, such as its City Hall and a local plaque, was displayed as O.A.R.’s “This Town” played in the background.

Somerville and the rest of the communities celebrated throughout the season will each receive a custom designed bench by Halmar, as well as a shade tree in the spring. The next night in the My Town series is set for January 2, when the Devils will celebrate Linden, N.J. For more information on the My Town program, please call 973-757-6250

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