Monday, March 1st marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of Manchester Township’s Division of Emergency Medical Services and although the past year was marked with many challenges, specifically a global pandemic, we could not be more proud of the tremendous efforts of our EMS staff in making the program a resounding success.
Since “going live” on March 1, 2020, the Manchester Township Division of Emergency Medical Services has answered 10,774 calls for service. Under the leadership and direction of Capt. Robert Dolan and EMS Director Robert Baran, our dedicated staff of EMTs have proven to be an invaluable resource to the residents of Manchester Township. Operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, these highly trained EMTs answered approximately 30 calls per day during the first year and had an average response time of just over 7 minutes, a number that significantly exceeds the national average. Of the nearly 11,000 calls, 96 percent were answered by our EMS, while the others were handled by our established mutual aid partners. This only occurred in those rare instances when all of our ambulances and crews were tied up handling other emergency calls. Furthermore, 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. 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.
During the first year, the Division of EMS also implemented a high quality training program that included acquiring National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians and Emergency Care & Safety Institute Training Center designations. With this training, the Division of EMS is now 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.
In the spirit of 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.
Looking forward past the pandemic, our EMTs plan to host health and safety seminars within our community as a mechanism to teach our residents and form connections with them. We encourage everyone to bookmark the EMS Division website located at: www.manchesterems.com; and to follow our regularly updated Facebook page located at: www.facebook.com/ManchesterTwpEMS.
Chief Lisa Parker would like to thank Mayor Kenneth Palmer, the Township Council, the township administration, our community partners, and most importantly our residents for their continued support of Manchester EMS. Also 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!