Overlook Area First Aid Council

Meeting Minutes

November 13, 2002

Squads In Attendance:

  • Berkeley Heights Vol Rescue
  • Cranford First Aid Squad
  • Fanwood Rescue Squad
  • New Providence EMS
  • Scotch Plains Rescue Squad
  • Springfield First Aid Squad
  • Watchung Rescue Squad
  • Westfield Rescue Squad
  • Atlantic Health System Representatives

    • Jim Itzcovitz, MD Overlook ER
    • Pat Gabriel, RN Overlook ER

    The meeting was called to order at 8:05 p.m. by President Sue Meyer.

    Emergency Room Update

    Pat discussed the new ER entrance. Security patrols the parking lot every hour and the police will be checking also for cars etc., that are parking in the ambulance load/unload area. Paid ambulances have been told to drop off their patient and to have the driver move their vehicles from the front of the ER. Use the police if necessary to move cars.

    Snow will cleared from the area as a priority. Dan Sullivan asked whether the new ER will be on level ground (since the temporary entrance isn't level.) Pat said it would be level.

    Pat stated that there will be a drill for the ER stall on 11/21 at 10:00 to test out the decon area (the tent, water pressure, and where the runoff will go) and ER communications (their use of portable radios.) The scenario will be a spill at Novartis of some smallpox vaccine. No, they are not making it there - it's just a scenario.

    Dr. Itzcovitz spoke about the new oxygen masks/airway device that the medics will be carrying starting in December for patients with 'wet' lungs. It offers a tight seal with positive pressure for better oxygenation and to avoid intubation.


    No one there.


    Bill Faust leaving to go to Union County College.

    Dan Sullivan and Becky Herbert (Watchung) brought up several incidents where the medics have offered the patient several choices of hospitals to be transported to or asked the patient where they want to go. Many squads have guidelines on transporting patients. Several medics seem to want to direct patients to hospitals other than Overlook. When a patient goes to an 'out of the way' hospital, it takes the squad out of service. Sue Meyer will contact Ann Pacifico to bring this to her attention (and ask that she mention to her medics to speak to the squads before offering choices to the patient.)

    Becky Herbert also brought up the question of Activated Charcoal and whether it should be carried on our rigs. It was explained that since NJ is now National Registry and we are teaching the use of it, we can carry it.

    Pat mentioned that the HEAR radio procedures will be looked into re: patient privacy. She also said that if you forget to call in with your emergency, don't worry about it; it really isn't necessary to do it since emergencies arrive at the front door at all times without warning. If you want to call in for your own peace of mind, OK, but it is not necessary.

    Dr. Itzcovitz discussed how and why the ER doctors determine whether to remove spinal precaution equipment from patients. If they palpate the neck with negative findings, the patient has no neck pain, no neurological deficits, and no altered mental status, the staff will ask that the collar, etc. be removed from the patient. Continue to use the equipment in the field and the ER doctors will determine if its needed.

    The Epi bill has undergone some wording changes.

    Next meeting:

    January 8, 2003

    Respectfully submitted,

    Sue Meyer