“Be Prepared” may be the motto of the Boy Scouts, but it’s also everyday practice at the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad. So, it should come as no surprise that an Eagle Scout was among the 22 volunteers to staff the Squad’s headquarters during this week’s winter storm “Quinn”. Preparations for Quinn began Monday after reviewing weather forecasts and calling for extra volunteers to staff the building on Wednesday and Thursday. Members who were not scheduled for duty steppes up and helped the Squad keep 3 ambulances fully staffed. Meanwhile Squad officers had all vehicles checked and fueled, made arrangements for needed supplies as well as food in the building since shifts might be extended, and reminded all members of steps to take for themselves as well as their families.
From Wednesday through Thursday and 8 PM the Squad answered 26 EMS calls, including 2 requests for mutual aid from Springfield and 1 from Millburn. Another request from New Providence Wednesday night was cancelled before the Summit crew arrived. There were 6 times when the Squad had 2 ambulance crews responding to simultaneous calls and 3 occasions where all 3 ambulances were on simultaneous calls.
Roads became treacherous with some impassable as downed power lines prevented proper plowing of a number of roads. On Wednesday night, a Summit ambulance crew responding along with a rescue truck from the Summit Fire Department to an accident on Route 78 became stuck in traffic. It would be 4 hours before that crew made it back to headquarters. Another ambulance became briefly stuck in the snow on Division Ave. A nearby resident pitched in to help that crew free their rig.
Between calls, members cleaned and re-stocked ambulances cleared snow from around the building. repaired a set of broken snow chains, and monitored the many road closures to plan alternate response routes.
The all-volunteer First Aid Squad is always looking for new members to join its ranks. All needed training, uniforms and equipment is provided. The Squad is funded entirely through private donations and provides all services free of charge. For information, please call 908-277-9479, or click HERE. .
This story also covered in: