County EMS service continues to grow

UNION COUNTY, NJ — The Union County Emergency Medical Service is on track to experience its fourth straight year of growth by a wide margin. The Freeholder Board established the service permanently in January 2012, in response to increased calls for emergency assistance throughout the county.

Countywide EMS responded to 3,681 calls between January and August. The average of 460 calls per month puts the yearly total on track for approximately 5,500 calls. The total for 2014 was 4,223 calls, just under 352 calls monthly.

Countywide EMS was launched in June 2011 as a pilot project, after discussions with the 21 municipalities highlighted the need to increase emergency services in Union County, and began with two ambulances donated by the Rahway Emergency Squad. On its first day, Countywide EMS answered four requests for service, close to the anticipated startup number of up to five calls daily on average. All but one of the 21 municipalities in Union County used the service during the pilot phase.

The first full year of service for Countywide EMS was 2012, during which it answered a total of 1,449 calls. In 2013 it answered 1,887 calls.

Countywide EMS makes additional ambulance service available 24/7, and can be called into service when local officials are handling multiple calls at once, or calls involving multiple victims, to ensure that emergency services are delivered as quickly as possible. It can also be used as backup when local ambulances are out of commission for unexpected maintenance or repairs, and it can serve as a standby precaution at public events.

In 2014, Countywide EMS added a third ambulance and was given the annual award for Outstanding Public EMS Agency from the New Jersey Department of Health.

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