Overlook Area EMS Council

Meeting Minutes

March 9, 2011




Atlantic Health

Berkeley Heights Vol RS


Dr. Mastro

Chatham EMS


Andrew Fitch

Elizabeth Fire EMS


Jennifer Moran, RN

Fanwood RS


Joe Maratao

Mountainside RS


Kristy Rodriques, RN

New Providence EMS


Lori May

Roselle Park EMS


Lou Faraone, RN

Scotch Plains


Mike Pizzano

Springfield FAS


Richard Donovan

Summit EMS


Sharon Kelly, RN

Warren Township RS


Sue Caputo, RN

Westfield RS




Guest Speaker:

Mr. Alan Leiber, CEO of Atlantic Health was a guest. He came to the meeting to thank the squads for taking good care of the patients as we are a key part of the team. AHS was voted one of the top 100 places to work. He was asked why there are staff openings in the ER when the volume at the ER is so high even with Sharon and Dr. Mastro doing a great job with filling the spots. Mr. Leiber said that they are trying to keep high quality people; a lot of experienced people left and it takes 6 months to train and 2 years to be fully experienced. The ER does pull staff from Union Campus when needed.


Emergency Room:

Sharon reported that they have hired staff both tech’s and nurses; the volume in the ER is high. Beds are being readied quicker and all staff is trained in patient satisfaction. The swipe keycards to the ER were issued to squads who transport to Overlook 12 times a year or more. If your squad doesn’t have a key, buzz and the staff will let you into the hospital. This was a management decision, not the ER staff. These key cards are very important to protect the staff and the patients. The HEAR radio is fixed – please call into the ER via the HEAR for calls when you do not have medics. If the staff doesn’t answer directly, give your report. They will hear you.


Question was raised regarding replacement of pillows; pillows are one for one. Storage of them is an issue; it was suggested that a cabinet be built over the blanket warmers for the pillows. The storage area outside the ER was discussed and is still being negotiated. Please be sure to check the storage room each time you are in the ER as there is a lot of equipment there. Jen usually calls when she sees that it is full. Fanwood reported that they have one piece of equipment (T-pad) that they keep losing; the doctors will be asked to remove the item before the squad leaves the ER. ER renovations to start again to help the patient flow. The tags that we used to use to tag equipment left at the ER were discussed. Jen will check into these. Dr. Mastro reported that in January 4,999 patients were seen in the ER with 1,480 admitted – this was the highest ever. February they saw 4,589 patients. Dr. Mastro also stated that where EMS is making a difference is with heart attack and stroke patients. Two squads got their heart attack patients in quickly (Union Fire EMS and Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad) to get their patients to the cath lab. It is vitally important to get the onset of symptoms in these patients. Be sure to question appropriately, i.e. chest pain vs heaviness or pressure in chest. For stroke patients (code gray) please try to obtain concrete information: when did it happen; what else occurred, i.e. seizure; who observed this, who was there, what did bystanders see.


Union Campus:

Union has 27,500 patients last year – same and the old Union Hospital. Their patient satisfaction score is 98%. Discussion again on the patients’ being charged for transports from Union to Overlook. The insurance companies usually pay this fee and the hospital works with patients who can’t pay. It is a billable service, if there is a specific issue contact Joe Nebstein. Medicare patients will not pay and insurance will pay as long as the deductible has been met. Overlook may pick up the bill if necessary.



Sue Caputo was introduced to those of us who didn’t know who she is. She is replacing Tony. Lori reported that the July EMT Basic class will be cut at 60 people and that there will be several daytime EMT classes, one after June for high school students.



Contact Kevin McElroy for issues/complaints/compliments. With the warmer weather approaching please be sure to cool off the back of the rigs and keep doors closed so the bugs stay out. If you wish to ride the MICU as an observer, contact Lori May. You must be over 18.


Joe reported that the combining of the dispatches is complete. There are 2 dispatches and more call takers on duty. Scotch Plains is now dispatched by Cencom. The state maps for NJ and PA and NY are in the MDTs. The 911 screen does not advise giving aspirin. Mike Pizzano now manages Cencom. Any MDT questions go to Gareth Williams.  Chatham reported that their 911 calls are going to Morris County.


We asked about the procedure for finding out the status of particular patients we transport to the hospitals. We were advised that the procedure is in the ‘legal system’ for review for a yes or no answer. Infection Control contact is Dori at 908-522-2912.


New Business:

The name of this council and its purpose was discussed. The minutes and invites to the meeting will be sent to all squads who use Overlook’s ER. The name of this council will be changed to Overlook Area EMS Council to reflect the current EMS trends. All squads are welcome to send a representative to these meetings.


Anyone wishing to run for President, Vice President or Secretary for the Overlook Area EMS Council is to contact Sue Meyer. Voting will take place at the next meeting, May 11th.


The Overlook EMS Dinner will be May 19th. Invites to go out soon.


Meeting adjourned at 9:05 pm


Respectfully submitted

Sue Meyer

President - OAEMSC