National EMS Week, May 17-23, 2015, is a time to honor local EMS responders and promote awareness of their everyday services to the public. Months ago, members of the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad had hoped to celebrate EMS week this year in grand fashion by officially opening their new headquarters on Elm Street across from the Middle School. While the building is nearly complete, it’s not quite ready for squad members to move in yet. So, that celebration will come in July. The Squad expects to start operating from the new building in June.
This year’s EMS week theme “EMS Strong” is particularly appropriate for Summit’s EMS volunteers since this has been a challenging year for the squad. Members have been operating from temporary headquarters behind Salerno Duane Ford. Use of that space was donated by Chip Duane. “We survived a worse than expected winter and continue to answer calls, even when they sometimes come in rapid succession”, said Squad president Ken Herr. Severe weather generally brings an uptick in ambulance calls; this year that included multiple calls for falls on the ice and car accidents and even a request to help cover emergencies in New York City. But sometimes, the squad finds itself busy for no apparent reason. Just a few weeks ago on a sunny Sunday morning, the squad received 4 unrelated emergency calls in the span of 45 minutes and promptly covered them all. That was thanks to several off duty members responding to staff the squad’s 2nd and 3rd ambulance and a duty crew that was able to deliver a patient quickly to Overlook and then answer the 4th call.
The first National EMS week proclamation was signed in 1974 by President Gerald Ford. This year both President Obama and Governor Christie issued EMS Week proclamations in which they acknowledged “this diverse group of dedicated Americans who provide crucial pre hospital medical care to fellow citizens when they need it most.” and the “more than 3 million New Jersey residents and visitors who require emergency medical care for injuries and critical medical emergencies”.
Since 1962, the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad has been staffed entirely by volunteers, answered emergency ambulance calls around the clock and provided all services free of charge. The squad is always looking for new volunteers to join its ranks and provides all needed training. For more information, please Click Here or call the Squad at (908) 277-9479.