MANCHESTER – Township officials, administrators of the township Division of Emergency Medical Service, Police Chief Lisa Parker and residents are marking the first year of service by the community’s new EMS program.
Although much of 2020 was marked with numerous challenges resulting from the COVID-19 global pandemic, Mayor Ken Palmer, Chief Parker, members of Council and EMS members themselves could not be more pleased about the tremendous efforts made in making the program successful.
The EMS is headed by Captain Robert Dolan and EMS Director Robert Baran.
Since it began, members have responded to 10,774 calls.
Mayor Palmer noted during a recent council meeting that the staff of EMTs have proven to be an invaluable resource to the residents of Manchester Township. Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the highly trained EMTs answered approximately 30 calls per day since March 2020 and had an average response time of just over seven minutes, a number that significantly beats the national average.
Of the nearly 11,000 calls, 96 percent were answered by the township’s EMS, while the others were handled by Manchester’s established mutual aid partners. This only occurred on rare instances when the EMS ambulances and crews were tied up handling other emergency calls.
Chief Parker said “in the spirit of service and cooperation, our staff was able to reciprocate and assist our neighboring towns in need over 100 times during our first year. Although we will help our neighbor in need from time to time, our first priority is to the residents of Manchester Township. Our residents can rest assured that exemplary pre-hospital care will always be available in their time of need.”
“When we began just one year ago, our EMTs, much like the rest of us, had no idea what was looming on the horizon. These polished and eager EMTs began serving our residents on a full-time basis just eight days before the COVID-19 pandemic struck New Jersey and began to impact our community,” she added.
Chief Parker said, “during these uncertain times, our staff worked tirelessly to ensure that the needs of our residents were met and in the most professional manner possible. This entailed taking painstaking and oftentimes meticulous steps to ensure that their ambulances and gear were cleaned and sanitized and that they, themselves, were properly equipped and outfitted to provide the highest level of care while engaging in the highest degree of safety.”
“Serving on the front line during a pandemic has certainly been a challenge for our EMTs; however, they continue to serve our community fearlessly, knowing the risks involved. Despite this, they remain committed to serving our community professionally and compassionately, regardless of the risks,” Chief Parker added.
The Division of EMS also implemented in its first year, a high quality training program that included acquiring National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians and Emergency Care and Safety Institute Training Center designations.
Having that training has allowed the EMS to now be able to carry some of the most advanced patient care technology available, including LUCAS CPR Chest Compression Systems, albuterol nebulizer treatments, advanced simulation manikins, and isolation chambers for suspected COVID-19 patients.
Chief Parker said that through working together “for the betterment of our community, our EMTs established the “Project PPE” program. This program is aimed at partnering the Division of EMS with not only members of the community but also local businesses and civic organizations to collect donations of masks and other PPE. These items are then re-distributed to local hospitals and healthcare workers.”
The pandemic will not last forever and the township EMS is looking ahead to a time when it will no longer be present with township EMTs hosting health and safety seminars within the township.
Such a program will serve to teach residents and form connections with them. “We encourage everyone to bookmark the EMS Division website located at manchesterems.com; and to follow our regularly updated Facebook page located at facebook.com/ManchesterTwpEMS.
Chief Parker thanked the mayor and Council, the township administration, and “our community partners, and most importantly our residents for their continued support of Manchester EMS.”
She added a “round of applause to everyone who has worked tirelessly to make this program what it is today, including the professional staff of EMTs. By working together, we are making Manchester Township a safer and healthier community.”