Michael Kenwood was a man dedicated to his community who died doing what he loved to do, according to colleagues and others who knew him.
The 39-year-old volunteer emergency medical technician for the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad died Aug. 28 while attempting to reach a car on Rosedale Road that was submerged in raging flood waters from Hurricane Irene.
“Michael genuinely cared about people and was dedicated to helping his community,” said Rabbi Jay Kornsgold of Beth El Congregation in East Windsor. “He was a very bright, energetic, creative person who not only cared deeply about his family, but also about his community. It was because he was so devoted to community service that he volunteered his time to rescue services, which led to his tragic death.”
Kornsgold recalled Kenwood and his wife, Elizabeth Frenkel, bringing their daughter, Laney, now three, to the synagogue as an infant for her baby-naming ceremony.
“Michael often came to services and enjoyed bringing his daughter with him,” said Kornsgold, who added, “He died a hero doing what he loved to do.”
Kornsgold officiated at Kenwood’s funeral service, held Aug. 31 at Robert Schoem’s Menorah Chapel, Inc., in Paramus, which drew a huge throng of first responders from across the state.
Kenwood was a three-year veteran of the Princeton squad who previously served as an EMT at Brandeis University in Massachusetts.
Peter Simon, president of the Princeton squad, said in a news release that Kenwood “loved EMS” and helped mentor and train new members. “Michael’s loss is tragic and so difficult to comprehend,” he said. “He relished all the training and truly enjoyed adding to his skill set.”
Simon also said that Kenwood was a hero, “not for how he lost his life, but for how he lived it.”
Kenwood, an East Windsor resident, was owner of Kenwood Technical Consulting in East Windsor.
Donations in his honor can be sent to the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad at PFARS, 237 North Harrison St., Princeton, NJ, 08540 or go to pfars.org.