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  1. #1
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Default Gloucester County EMS

    I just read an article that the County is taking over EMS in the County of Gloucester?

    Does anyone have more info?

    Are they running paid BLS?

    What happened to the volunteer departments?

    Do Vollies still run EMS at all?

    Did the vollies go nuts when this was being proposed?
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

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  2. #2
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Alright, could've answered my own question by simply using google.

    Check out this website for lots of information.

    Anyone from that area care to comment? I'd be curious to see how this works, as poor ems response is a problem in many parts of the state.

    http://www.saynotogcems.com/index.html
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    Alright, could've answered my own question by simply using google.

    Check out this website for lots of information.

    Anyone from that area care to comment? I'd be curious to see how this works, as poor ems response is a problem in many parts of the state.

    http://www.saynotogcems.com/index.html
    Personally, I don't really think it's necessary. The majority of the towns in the surrounding area to my township have very well response times. The one exception would be Clayton, who can't seem to get an ambulance out at 1 AM and must call either us (Franklin) or Glassboro. I can see the county EMS benefitting them, but that's about it. The problem is that a county system isn't needed. This ought to be handled solely by the municipality.

    A couple years back, when my officers realized a problem with response times, they got together and made a committee on the issue. They hired a very good consultant, and spent over 2 years designing the project, and this for one township's EMS system. The county spent less than a year creating their plan, which will cover several towns. Maybe that might tell you a little something about the effectiveness of it? I digress...

    So, we figured out a plan to aid our response times. Now, being contracted with Millville Rescue Squad, operate one Paid BLS rig from 6a-6p every weekday and holiday. For the most part, we only switch off between three different EMTs, all of which are extremely experienced and caring. When one of these EMTs is unavailable, the cailber of the remaining Millville staff is exceptional as Millville's EMTs are required to perform many tasks before becoming a street EMT. Our volunteer squad supplements response during the day if need be, and also operates duty crews on the nights and weekends. Because of this, we answered 98% of our calls received in 2006.

    As this plan was being erected, we planned to meet with the neighboring towns (Elk, Newfield, and Clayton) to propose their partnership in our system. Our officers created a very well-laid plan for zoning, dispatch, and crew placement. The towns either denied us entirely or blew off the proposal for sports games. At any rate, Clayton's volunteers are effectively out of service, seeing that as of 5 o'clock this morning, their old building has now become Squad 82-9 of the GCEMS Alliance.

    So, in short, the way to fix response isn't a county-wide money-hungry political game, but rather the responsibility of the municipalities to realize their response issues and handle them accordingly.

  4. #4
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Default

    There was a thread on here a few months ago discussing this. From what I recall, everyone posting was in the same boat...sitting back and waiting to see how this would go over. It sounded like it would be a help for the busy towns, but would hurt the slower ones.

    I don't know if it's gone into effect yet, or even if all the locals were buying in to it.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  5. #5
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    Default

    I'm a big believer in regionalizing services. What is striking about this website is the quote about waiting 15-20 minutes for an ambulance. Surely this proposal is being touted because there is a problem. More and more squads are going paid, at least during the day, to make up for a lack of manpower. Seems to me if I have to wait for multiple squads to get toned out multiple times to answer a BLS call, I am way ahead of the game with a paid service.

    Also, I would bet that there will be plenty of opportunity for present squad members to work within this system if they want to.

  6. #6
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Regionalization is not going away.

    I would love to prioritize what gets regionalized, and I guess it's really only relevant to my neck of the woods (Morris County). I also realize that much of this is wishful thinking. I know George lives up my way, so I wonder if he'll agree.

    1. School Districts
    2. EMS
    3. Police Services (from dispatching, right up to whole departments)
    4. Fire

    Schools are obvious (I would think) as all these little school districts with multiple levels of management are simply wasteful.

    EMS. Response times are bad, calls go unanswered or answered after multiple requests. This needs to be addressed soon. I think there is room for both volunteer and paid in this county, but a comprehensive plan has to happen.

    Police Services. I'm not an expert on police operations. I will comment on the idea of a dispatch centers. I know the county is looking into a county dispatch center, and I'm all for it. I don't know how much of a cost savings this will realize, but for interoperability, it seems to make sense. I'll reserve final judgement when I see a proposal.

    Fire. We are doing better than EMS in regards to response. Daytime is not as good, but with mutual aid it's still being done safely. When I think about a regional approach, I think that a comprehensive plan for fire services coverage would probably be a smart thing.

    I notice that every fire department around us is purchasing aerials. I won't pass judgement, as I don't have all the facts, but it seems that perhaps there is a better way to allocate some of these resources. I would like to see a task force involving members of the fire service review this and work on a comprehensive plan that addresses things like capital purchases, coverage areas, etc. If we don't do it ourselves, the politicians will do it for us. That scares me.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  7. #7
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Couple areas near me are investigating the regionalized police approach. So far, it's not being welcomed by the police, the politicians, nor the public.

    A couple PD's around me use the County for dispatch. They are trying to get away from that and get back to local dispatching. The main reason is the County not putting the money into the system to get it working countywide. We are at the far end of the county and radio reception is poor. I'm sure the system could work, it just needs to be properly funded to allow the correct equipment and the proper staffing for it.

    Personally, I'd hate to go away from using our local dispatch.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN
    Anyone from that area care to comment?
    What the heck...I'm from the area...I'll comment. Please bear in mind...I can only offer my thoughts and opinions based on what I have experienced in my town (Deptford) as well as what I've heard on the county radio. I don't speak for anyone, and could very well be wrong in certain aspects. Also, please be aware I am not an EMT...only a Vollie FF.

    That being said...

    I doubt that EMS in Gloucester County will encompass the ENTIRE county. A number of agencies/municipalities/etc have signed on...but those appear to be the ones that are either needing mutual aid frequently, or providing it to them already (Logan Twp. EMS was first due into several townships...sort of a mini-regionalized EMS). A few of those who have signed up for regionalization were volunteer squads, or combination squads.

    My township (Deptford), as well as Woodbury (neighboring "city") has a strong EMS system already in place, with several squads staffed full time, with some part-timers providing additional staffing. Fortunately, it does not seem to be often when they get overwhelmed and MA is called in either town. As a matter of fact, EMS in Deptford falls under the Police, and not Fire, department. For these reasons, I don't forsee Deptford joining the regionalization effort...not in the near future anyway.

    Radio communication for the majority of the county is run from the Gloucester County Communication Center. I do believe there are a few Police departments that have their own call centers, and possibly a few of the squads did too. I am almost certain all fire calls were routed through the County.

    Uh...I think that covers several things. If anyone has better or more definitive information, I'm all ears.

  9. #9
    Forum Member fortythreetwo's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 434Jim439 View Post
    Personally, I don't really think it's necessary. The majority of the towns in the surrounding area to my township have very well response times. The one exception would be Clayton, who can't seem to get an ambulance out at 1 AM and must call either us (Franklin) or Glassboro. I can see the county EMS benefitting them, but that's about it. The problem is that a county system isn't needed. This ought to be handled solely by the municipality.

    A couple years back, when my officers realized a problem with response times, they got together and made a committee on the issue. They hired a very good consultant, and spent over 2 years designing the project, and this for one township's EMS system. The county spent less than a year creating their plan, which will cover several towns. Maybe that might tell you a little something about the effectiveness of it? I digress...

    So, we figured out a plan to aid our response times. Now, being contracted with Millville Rescue Squad, operate one Paid BLS rig from 6a-6p every weekday and holiday. For the most part, we only switch off between three different EMTs, all of which are extremely experienced and caring. When one of these EMTs is unavailable, the cailber of the remaining Millville staff is exceptional as Millville's EMTs are required to perform many tasks before becoming a street EMT. Our volunteer squad supplements response during the day if need be, and also operates duty crews on the nights and weekends. Because of this, we answered 98% of our calls received in 2006.

    As this plan was being erected, we planned to meet with the neighboring towns (Elk, Newfield, and Clayton) to propose their partnership in our system. Our officers created a very well-laid plan for zoning, dispatch, and crew placement. The towns either denied us entirely or blew off the proposal for sports games. At any rate, Clayton's volunteers are effectively out of service, seeing that as of 5 o'clock this morning, their old building has now become Squad 82-9 of the GCEMS Alliance.

    So, in short, the way to fix response isn't a county-wide money-hungry political game, but rather the responsibility of the municipalities to realize their response issues and handle them accordingly.
    I KNEW that you would have something to say about this.
    Janvier Volunteer Fire Company
    Station 43-2
    ~~~
    New Jersey Forest Fire Service
    South Jersey
    Division C Section 9
    C25

  10. #10

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    Thumbs down 8-minute response?

    Just wanted to say, that the geniuses who wrote the response plans for the county EMS, must be out of their minds. The other night, while 82-9 (Clayton) was unstaffed (this station only runs the "Power shift"), the county ambulances from Glassboro and Pitman were on assignments. So, what happens when a call arises in Clayton near the Franklin Township border? County dispatch sends in 82-6, all the way from Mantua Township, on the other side of Pitman! Listening to the radio (and using a bit of common sense), their response was well over the 8-minute max. response time they promised the residents of Gloucester County. I guess County couldn't handle the thought of scratching a call, though I'm sure their recorded run times will show that 82-6's ambulance was on scene on time.

    This is the kind of shady business I really don't like. Many times, when a call happens in Clayton at night, the county will dispatch our squad, then recall us immediately and send in the next due County EMS rig to the scene. It seems like their ultimate goal is to make us look bad, by showing that we were dispatched but did not respond. Does this smell fishy to anyone else?

  11. #11

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    Default Gcems

    Just so everyone's clear...

    County EMS runs 10 trucks... 9 of wich are 24-7... clayton is off between 2100 and 0800...

    How things are run, if an area becomes buisy trucks are relocated to that area (for instance the clayton call above)... When glassboro and pitman are not available yes a truck comes from mantua but before that call is dispatched a crew is usually sitting in a central location to respond to that call...

    case and point... when a call used to go out (1 AM in clayton also above) and no one responded it would then be retoned 5 minutes later... if it were an ALS call then the next closest squad would also be toned... (glassboro franklin township or monroe) but say glassboro is already on a call... then it would take the responding crew to come from monroe or franklin, both voli. squads... witch may not happen if they scratch on their first tones... so thats another 5 minutes down the drain... see its not as bad as everyone makes it...

    In all reality if you look at the county system its no different then calling in mutual aid... except this mutual aid is sitting in station already and responds in 2 minutes because theres a paid crew on.

  12. #12
    makes good girls go bad BLSboy's Avatar
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    Why does each town need to have their own dispatch center?
    Each their own EMS?
    Each their own frequency?

    The individual kingdoms need to come down. People are going to loose titles. Loose responsibilty. In some cases, loose hobbies, if they don't qualify to transfer over to the paid division.

    Yes, God forbid we have 2 EMTs on an ambulance, and have it inspected by the state.

    I can see how it would be extremely beneficial. once there are enough personnel, then the "Special Ops" can be undertaken, that would just not be justifiable for a single dept.

    Not to mention having ONE dispatch center means that we would only need ONE radio.
    If the job becoming easier means a few dispatchers loose their job, I am sorry to say, but oh well.
    Being on the same page with everyone else is a safety issue. Mine first.
    AJ, MICP, FireMedic
    Member, IACOJ.
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    This message has been made longer, in part from a grant from the You Are a Freaking Moron Foundation.

  13. #13
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    To me this topic is something I will never understand. I cone from an state were there is only one or two volie EMS services in the state and everything else is county based. I understand after coming to a rual area why one needs vollies, but at the same time for the three calls in that area a week the paid crew can get there from the next district over in close to the same time anyway. If not then whats an extra minute or two. If it were really an issue to the members of the town then they would put a paid crew on to answer the few calls they have to make sure the times are down and the calls get answered. I agree with what someone above said about everyone wanting a piece of the pie. You will have chiefs losing titles and people that aren't qualified not being allowed to partake in the action. In that area being a vollie is a status symbol and people dont want to give it up, and at the same time dont want to do it as a career either. While this is going on it is keeping the people wanting to do it for a living out of jobs. Then people wonder why we are in a rescission!!!!!!

    There are many more pluses to going regional. There is a larger opportunity for good quality training and then there is compassion for the job (because it is your job not something you do for fun). How many people out there on vollie departments have people on thier squad that can barely maintain enough training hours to keep their certs? Well when it comes down to the time I am going to need help I think that I am going to want someone that has been up to date. Not the person who runs a call a week. Now by no means am I saying that there shouldn't be vollies, but the area has to be suited for it. And if you are really involved in the squad you also notice that it is usually the same dang people always taking the calls anyways.

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