Township of Monroe

The Mayor's Column

EMS: Lifesaving Care When You Need It

March 06, 2018

By Mayor Gerald W. Tamburro

     We are fortunate in our society that in times of distress we have the ability to pick up the phone and call for help. 

     While Monroe’s active police and fire departments may be the first responders that come to mind, today, I’d like to also call attention to the hard-working men and women who’ve enlisted their time to our Emergency Medical Services.  In matters of life and death, they are very often first on the scene.

     Saving lives is all in a day’s work for Monroe’s highly trained EMS crews, which are made up of advanced and basic life supporting staff, supervisors, emergency medical technicians and volunteers.  On shifts that rotate 24-seven, they monitor 911 calls and are strategically positioned at four stations throughout the Township to provide full coverage to Monroe’s residents, who may phone in from any location within our 43-square-mile radius. Routinely, they also respond to accidents on the Turnpike and offer mutual assistance to neighboring municipalities when needed. To put it into perspective, last year alone, our EMS responded to some 10,000 calls. 

     In its infancy, the department began with a couple dozen volunteers back in 1970.  By 1991, Monroe transitioned to a professional staffing model while still training volunteers to assist during off and peak hours. Through the operation, many of our youth volunteers have discovered their own calling and even went on to become doctors, nurses and filled various roles in the many facets of the ever-expanding medical field. 

     Suffice to say, our EMS has grown into a department that we are proud to call our own.  In recognizing their importance, the municipality has outfitted them with the necessary resources to get them to the emergency safely and quickly and enable them to provide life-saving treatment in the most effective way possible. This includes 13 ambulances with advanced emergency medical equipment and a streamlined dispatching process with state of the art communication technology.  The most recent addition to our emergency fleet arrived in January, when the department welcomed a Ford F-450 with four-wheel drive, a 360-view exterior camera and the Township’s first electronic stretcher.  So whether the call comes in for a medical emergency, a car accident or a natural disaster, we’ve done our best to ensure these brave men and women are prepared to respond in a timely fashion and to any scenario that they may encounter. 

     Looking at all the logistics, the EMS program uses very little in the way of actual tax dollars. The majority of funding for this department is generated by insurance reimbursements for the use of the ambulance service.  Monroe residents are not billed anything above this. The township only balance bills calls for non-Monroe Township residents and all mutual aid calls. 

     I’m confident in saying that our department has cultivated a fine-tuned operation and assembled highly skilled, patient-focused teams that deserve our upmost admiration.  Those individuals who man our ambulances, both night and day, serve one of the most critical functions in our town and for that we owe them a great debt of gratitude.


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