In August of 1995 the Marmora Volunteer Fire Company ventured into a new and unexplored world by most volunteer fire company's. We were looking for a way to provide a service to the community that was far and above their expectations.
Upper Township, NJ is approximately 67 square miles and covered by 4 Fire Companys and 1 Rescue Squad. Marmora is located in the north section of the township and is responsible for approximately 20 square miles and a population of roughly 6,000 people. The Upper Township Rescue Squad is responsible for the primary medical coverage for the entire township. Upper Township Rescue is comprised of a part paid and full time volunteer service.
During the daytime from the hours of 6:30 am to 5:00 pm they are staffed with 3 paid EMT's and the rest of the day they are covered by the volunteers. As we all know the volunteers are on call and must respond from the home to the building and retrieve an ambulance and then proceed to the scene. This trip alone can cover up to 10 minutes for some of the members and about 10-15 minutes.
We researched and devised a plan that would provide a response to the medical needs of Marmora in about half that time. We started by sitting down with representatives from the Upper Township Rescue Squad and the 3 other fire company's that make up Upper Township. We told them our plan to train the members in the emergency medical service and have them respond to the request for ambulance and provide immediate assessment and appropriate treatment to the patient.
Training the personnel consisted of sending them to EMT school and riding with the rescue squad to gain some necessary experience. Once the members were certified as an EMT, they were sent for additional training in early defibrillation. Once a month we conducted training in the firehouse, consisting of scenarios and scene management.
We equipped a Ford Explorer with necessary medical supplies to carry out the job. Oxygen bags, Semi-automatic defibrillator, suction unit, c-collars and longboards are some of the supplies stocked on the truck.
Scheduling consists of 2 EMT's on call every night between the hours of 6 pm - 6 am. One of the crew members takes the Explorer home with them and after receiveing the call meets his partner enroute. After evaluating the patient and rendering appropriate field care they stand by with the patient until the arrival of the ambulance or paramedics. Patient care then transferred to the units.
Since the inception of the program we have grown in participating members and equipment. We now run with a 1996 Chevy Suburban with a full compliment of equipment found in an ambulance with the exception of a stretcher. Our staff consists of 2 Paramedices, 22 EMT's and 8 First Responders trained in Emergency Response (American Red Cross). We also have 4 EMT's in Paramedic school