MORRIS COUNTY — The Morris County Office of Emergency Management has launched a new Emergency Medical Services program designed to supplement the first-responder needs of the county’s 39 municipalities when assistance is required.
Development of this county funded initiative resulted from discussions with officials of several municipalities who asked for Morris County support for the daytime EMS response challenge throughout the county.The goal of this initiative is to provide a mutual aid ambulance during weekday hours for use in Morris County municipalities when other ambulance service is unavailable.
“We understand the stress put on towns that rely on volunteers, especially during weekdays when volunteers are mostly at work, to handle ambulance and first responder needs,’’ said Freeholder Director Doug Cabana. “We have heard their concerns and we hope to supplement their volunteer services and fill gaps in service through this county effort.’’
The new county service was launched on February 6, offering service on weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and using experienced emergency medical technicians hired by the county.
At the direction of the Freeholders, the new Morris County program has been developed on a foundation of providing professional and exemplary care, and getting an ambulance to a patient in the shortest amount of time, and with the least financial impact on those in need of emergency medical attention.
Services of the county’s new EMS team will come into play when:
- A local volunteer EMS squad is unable to staff a call;
- Local EMS resources are already committed to a call, and are unable to staff an additional ambulance;
- An emergency call goes into a mutual aid mode;
- A contracted/paid billing first responder service is already on a call and/or is outside the coverage area, and our Morris County ambulance is closer to the patient;
- The local volunteer EMS squad schedules county coverage ahead of time.
“Importantly, we also will make sure that our county service will not conflict with EMS coverage provided by the many dedicated Morris County volunteers, who take time out of their busy lives to volunteer with their local and regional EMS agencies,’’ added Freeholder Tom Mastrangelo, who is the county governing board’s liaison on public safety issues.
The county recognizes that some Morris County towns do not utilize contracted EMS services and do not have volunteers to staff an ambulance during the 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. period on Monday through Friday.
Those towns may call upon the new Morris County OEM/EMS if the county ambulance is in a call area and available on that particular day should the need arise.
When the program was in its developmental stage, county officials met leaders of local EMS agencies countywide to discuss this potential program. County officials stressed their full support of the longstanding local EMS model, with local agencies staffing their own ambulances and servicing patients in their respective communities.