The September 29 train accident at the Hoboken NJ Transit terminal had ripple effects into many towns in the region including Summit. Just before 9 AM, an in bound train failed to stop and crashed into the terminal. It was not immediately known how many were injured, but initial reports placed that number at 150-200. It was later learned that 108 people were injured and 1 person lost their life.
At 9:25 AM, Summit Volunteer EMS Chief Kari Phair received a call requesting 1 or 2 ambulances from Summit to respond to the incident. Summit’s on duty crew was handling a motor vehicle accident on Route 24 at the time and Phair sent a page to all members requesting volunteers to stand by. Within 12 minutes off duty members had answered that call to staff all 3 ambulances plus the squad’s first responder truck. Summit was assigned to the 2nd wave of a task force from Union County to stand by for the incident. Summit’s members were not needed at the scene in Hoboken, but instead answered 2 other mutual aid calls in neighboring towns during the incident. At one point later that morning, Summit had 2 ambulance crews operating simultaneously on separate mutual aid calls with a 3rd covering Summit. A few hours later, 3 Summit ambulances were responding to simultaneous calls in Summit.
Including the duty crew, the squad was able to assemble a team of 17 volunteers on a weekday morning in under 15 minutes. Chief Phair commented “I'm honored to work with such incredibly dedicated people willing to help out not just our community”.
The Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad is often called upon for assistance at major incidents and thanks to its strong membership and prompt responses, it is often among the first to answer those calls. The Squad has also been asked on several occasions to provide coverage at major events in many area towns, including Hoboken. What many people don’t realize is that, like Summit, the primary EMS provider for City of Hoboken is also a 100% volunteer squad: the Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
The all-volunteer First Aid Squad is always looking for new members to join its ranks. All needed training, uniforms and equipment is provided. For information, please call 908-277-9479, or Click HERE.
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