Overlook Area First Aid Council

Meeting Minutes

January 8, 2003

Squads In Attendance:

  • Berkeley Heights Vol Rescue
  • Central Jersey Tech Rescue
  • Cranford First Aid Squad
  • Fanwood Rescue Squad
  • Long Hill First Aid Squad
  • Millburn Short Hills VFAS
  • New Providence EMS
  • Scotch Plains Rescue Squad
  • Springfield First Aid Squad
  • Summit First Aid Squad
  • Westfield Rescue Squad
  • Atlantic Health System Representatives

    • Jim Itzcovitz, MD Overlook ER
    • Pat Gabriel, RN Overlook ER
    • Dan McMahon, MICU
    • Sue Caputo, EMS Training Center

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

    Emergency Room

    Pat discussed the new ER entrance again. The new entrance will be level with an ice melting system and will be covered. Everything on schedule as it stands now. The AED computer will be hooked up shortly

    Several squads requested that the bumpers in the current ambulance parking area be moved so you don't hit the awning. Also, could the poles be painted to assist with the backing-in of rigs. Pat will look into these.

    Diane from Berkeley Heights requested a room in the new ER with a sink to wash equipment, our hands, etc., after a call be considered during the renovations (much like Morristown has.) It could hold our linens, etc., so the squads can get their equipment and themselves back in service quickly. Pat will check on this.

    Diane also mentioned that several times they have been at the ER entrance and the Summit Police are not at the desk. They should be there at all times and Pat will refer this to Security.

    Representatives from Berkeley Heights also mentioned several incidents in the ER regarding the staff of one of the AHS rigs. Please note that all complaints are to immediately be referred to Pat Gabriel (522-2148) - don't let matters wait until an Overlook Council Meeting.

    Reid from Westfield asked how we find out who the charge nurse it (now that we don't call in prior to arriving at the ER with a patient.) Pat said to look on the clipboard, the first name on top is the charge nurse for that shift. Reid requested a more 'identifying' tag be worn so that we don't have to ask/look around. Pat will bring this to the nurses for a suggestion.

    Dan and Dr. Itzcovitz mentioned the Squad Nurse Liaison program. Dr. Itzcovitz suggested revitalizing this program to help clear up any questions between staff and EMTs. Dan Sullivan will e-mail Liaison Package to both Pat Gabriel and Sue Meyer.

    Dr. Itzcovitz spoke again about the new oxygen masks/airway device (C-Papp) that the medics will be carrying soon for patients with 'wet' lungs. It offers a tight seal with positive pressure for better oxygenation and to avoid intubation.


    No one there/no report. Diane questioned dispatch procedures and who decides whether a call needs medic or not. They had a call with a 10 week preemie with difficulty breathing and medics were not dispatched. Pat will check.


    Sue Meyer welcomed Sue Caputo. Sue gave out copies of the current CEU schedule. AED reports to go to Debbie Kapral at Morristown. She will take the comments about the AHS ambulances back and discuss since they are her responsibility.

    Howie Meyer mentioned that the LMA project has been started in Hunterdon County.

    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:

    March 12, 2003

    Respectfully submitted,

    Sue Meyer