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Photos: Navy veteran ‘super volunteer’ gets first-responder birthday surprise

William Brewster, who celebrates his 86th birthday today, is being honored by local fire, police and EMS personal with a drive-by outside his apartment complex in Washington on June 2, 2020. Brewster, who suffers from cancer, is an ex-police officer who served in the military and helped found the borough rescue squad. (Saed Hindash | For lehighvalleylive.com/TNS)

William Brewster got a surprise for his 86th birthday that left him smiling ear to ear.

Brewster, who lives in the Westgate Apartments in Washington, served in the Navy from 1951-55 before coming to the borough, a friend and his family explained late Tuesday afternoon after first responders from around the region drove by to honor him on his special day.

William Brewster, who celebrates his 86th birthday today, is being honored by local fire, police and EMS personal with a drive-by outside his apartment complex in Washington on June 2, 2020. Brewster, who suffers from cancer, is an ex-police officer who served in the military and helped found the borough rescue squad.
(Saed Hindash | For lehighvalleylive.com/TNS)

He was a borough police officer from 1963 to 1993, retiring as a sergeant, friend Robin Klimko related from a list compiled by Brewster’s family. He joined the fire department in 1963 as well as the rescue squad. When he was named an exempt fireman in 1983, he was one of four who were also on the rescue squad, Klimko said.

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He was very active with the Police Athletic League, at one point overseeing nine boys basketball teams, four girls softball teams, a swim team and several hockey teams, Klimko said.

In a book about the borough’s famous volunteers, Brewster is named a “super volunteer”, Klimko said. He was also very involved in the borough’s annual Easter egg hunt, she said.

William Brewster, who celebrates his 86th birthday today, is being honored by local fire, police and EMS personal with a drive-by outside his apartment complex in Washington on June 2, 2020. Brewster, who suffers from cancer, is an ex-police officer who served in the military and helped found the borough rescue squad.
(Saed Hindash | For lehighvalleylive.com/TNS)

As first responders from the borough fire department, the rescue squad, Washington Township police, and the Oxford squad as well as a motorcycle group and other retired officers streamed by, Brewster, who is battling cancer, wondered “Is this all for me?” Klimko said.

“It touched his heart, so it served its purpose,” Klimko said.

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© 2020 The Express-Times