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Saluting the Squad

Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad President Bob Flanagan stands with Mayor Nora Radest, who holds the proclamation she issued September 17 declaring September as ‘Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad Month’ in the Hilltop City.

The honor acknowledges the 94-member Squad and its all-volunteer membership — which includes 22 junior members — for more than 57 years of dedicated service to the Summit community. “The Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad members have given an untold number of hours of service to Summit residents and patrons of our businesses, medical institutions and stores,” said Mayor Radest.  

In addition to lauding the response to thousands of “routine” emergencies, the Mayor also noted the extraordinary service provided by the Squad during major incidents, including a major decontamination effort on September 11, 2001, and operating a temporary emergency clinic at their building during fire, power outrage at Overlook Medical Center.

Funded entirely by private donations and founded in 1962, the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad is the City’s primary Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agency, answering 9-1-1 medical calls 24-hours a day as well as providing stand-by coverage at community and sporting events, non-emergency medical transport for Summit residents, community safety.

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Support the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad in its 2019 Annual Appeal

The Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad is asking area residents to support
the vital, life-saving services it provides for the Summit community in its 2019 annual fundraising appeal. Requests for tax-deductible donations to directly fund its operations were mailed to homeowners and
businesses in Summit during the week of September 22.

The Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad is not a city agency and receives no funding from the municipality; it relies solely on private donations to fund the purchase of medical supplies, equipment, and for professional training of its members. The First Aid Squad has no paid staff.

“A fundraising appeal was recently mailed by the First Aid Squad to all homes and businesses in Summit,” explains Squad President Bob Flanagan. “Our dedicated EMS volunteers save lives every day by providing the best emergency medical services possible at no cost to patients. We need your support to continue our essential work. Please consider making a donation today.”

While many towns have been forced to hire paid Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units, Summit remains one of the exceptions with its team of full-time, dedicated Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) volunteers, many of whom are Summit residents. Founded in 1962, the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad responds to more than 2,100 calls a year.

In addition to its 65 adult members, the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad includes 20 junior members, high school students ages 16 and older that assist in emergency calls.

The Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad, Inc. is an independent non-profit corporation dedicated to providing emergency medical services (EMS), non-emergency ambulance transportation, and safety training to the Summit community.  All of its services are provided free of charge and funded entirely through private donations. Follow these links for information on becoming a volunteer, or donating to the squad, or call 908-277-94

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Junior EMS Members Participate in Mass Casualty Exercise

On Tuesday, May 20, 2019, junior members of the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad responded to a staged Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) at the squad building on 1000 Summit Ave. The planned drill was designed tochallenge the proficiency achieved by the junior squad members during residency training.  Approximately 20 junior members responded in teams toasimulated explosion scene and encountered more than one dozenpatients with injuries ranging from superficial to life-threatening.  Adult squad members and parent volunteers participated as casualty victims and bystanders, following scripts to assist first responders in identifyinginjuries and obtaining information to guide treatment decisions. Juniors were expected to organize themselves at the scene and then assess, treat, and prepare patients for transport to the hospital.

“Although the exercise is only a drill, we try to accurately simulate the distractions, chaos, and difficult decisions that arise in large scale incidents,” explains Chief Kari Phair. “Our juniors engage in realistic scenarios with victims that have life-threatening injuries. We do not sugar coat it for them. Some of the victims do not survive if immediate assistance is not provided.”

The Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad boasts one of the longest running junior programs in the area.Each year, high school students who are at least 16 years old are eligible to join the squad and assist in emergency calls.Juniors are required to attend training sessions, participate in junior meetings and squad activities, and serve weekly on a regularly scheduled crew shift.“During the drill, our junior members were tested on the skills they have been developing since joining the squad,” reports Junior Liaison Matt Raymond. “They were up to the challenge, calmly identifying the most critical patients, directing resources where they were needed, and performing life-saving maneuvers. Bandaging and splinting skills were employed. They made tough decisions and dealt with the consequences of their actions, both good and bad.” Chief Phair continues: “The mock mass casualtyincident is an extremely difficult exercise even for highly-trained responders. It requires cool thinking, focus, communication, and a reliance on learned skills in an environment where things can and do go wrong. Our juniors performed very well.”

The all-volunteer First Aid Squad is entirely funded through private donations and does not bill for service. The Squad answer emergency calls 24-hours a day, provides health & safety training to the public and is also an approved training site for the NJ EMT certification program. The Squad has 90 members, including 20 junior members and is always looking for new volunteers to join its ranks. All needed training, uniforms and equipment is provided. Folow theselinks for information on becoming a volunteer, ordonating to the squad, or call us 908-277-9479.

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Steve Mortenson Receives EMT Excellence Award from Overlook

Stephen Mortenson, a member of the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad received the 2019 EMT Excellence Award from Overlook Medical Center, part of Atlantic Health System, at the hospital’s 23rd annual Excellence in EMS Awards Celebration.

The event, which took place on May 23 at Galloping Hill Golf Course, celebrated the important role of EMS first responders in the communities they serve and highlighted the accomplishments of standout members from local squads in the region to help mark National EMS Week.

Steve was nominated by Squad Chief Kari Phair. Steve joined the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad in January 2004 after being told by one of our members it will be one of the greatest things you do and it doesn’t take up a lot of your time. As Steve said, the first statement is true and the second statement is not.15 years later, Steve is an EMT and riding a 12-hour shift on Thursday Nights. Steve provides excellent patient care and comfort not only to the patient but also to family members on scene.

Steve has been a very active member of the Squad with his volunteer hours exceeding the minimum of 48 hours per month. Steve has served as, President, Vice President, Corresponding Secretary and Trustee as well as serving on many committees. Most importantly Steve has served as one of our Legal Advisors, and this day and age that is a vital role in EMS. It is also a thankless job. Steve has made it one of his missions to leave the Squad in a far better place then when he started. He has done that with great stamina and elegance.

Steve has been a true asset to the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad helping to write our By-Laws and Standard Operating Procedures. He has earned the respect not only of his Thursday Night crew, but the Squad as a whole. Steve is an accomplished leader who graciously gives of himself to help others and continues to be a vital part of our Organization. The Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad is proud and privileged to have Steve as a member and to nominate him for the Overlook EMT Excellence Award.

Seventeen EMS personnel were given the EMT Excellence Award at the event for exceptional service. The awards were presented by colleagues, who described the winners’ accomplishments to the audience.

“The brave men and women of the EMS community are in many cases the first point of contact in the continuum of patient care a person will receive in an emergency,” said Sharon Kelly MSN, RN, NEA-BC, director of Overlook’s emergency services at its Summit & Union campuses. “The care they provide has a tremendous impact on the care the patient will receive once they arrive to us at the hospital, so we are honored to celebrate the vital role they play and the EMS excellence we see in our own communities.”

Overlook also presented two hospital team members with EMS Council Recognition Awards for their work collaborating with EMS personnel. The two award winners were Sergio Guzman and Diego Morales, both patient care technicians, in Overlook’s emergency departments in Summit and Union Township, respectively.

The all-volunteer First Aid Squad is entirely funded through private donations and does not bill for service. The Squad answer emergency calls 24-hours a day, provides health & safety training to the public and is also an approved training site for the NJ EMT certification program. The Squad has 90 members, including 20 junior members and is always looking for new volunteers to join its ranks. All needed training, uniforms and equipment is provided. Follow these links for information on becoming a volunteer, or donating to the squad, or call us 908-277-9479.

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Squad Awarded $4K Grant from Junior League of Summit

The Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad has received a $4,000 grant from the Junior League of Summit, Inc. to help fund the purchase of digital radios that will be compatible with other communications systems used by first responders in Summit and the surrounding area.

The First Aid Squad applied to the Junior of League of Summit for a grant to help offset the total cost of a necessary $140K upgrade from analog equipment to digital radios with added features and functionality, improved coverage, and critical interoperability with other agencies. “This generous grant from the Junior League of Summit, Inc. will allow for more effective and coordinated Communications during emergencies,” explains Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad President Robert Flanagan.“  As technology continues to evolve, both in public safety and beyond, the importance of updated emergency communications equipment becomes even more essential. We thank members of the Junior League for their dedication to the squad and support of our mission to provide the best possible emergency medical service.”

The Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad, Inc. is an independent non-profit corporation dedicated to providing emergency medical services (EMS), non-emergency ambulance transportation, and safety training to the Summit community. The all-volunteer First Aid Squad, responds to emergency calls 24/7, is entirely funded through private donations and does not bill for service.  The Squad has 90 members, including 20 junior members and is always looking for new volunteers to join its ranks. All needed training, uniforms and equipment is provided. For information on becoming a volunteer or donating to the squad’s digital radio campaign please follow these links or call 908-277-9479.

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Investors Bank Helps Squad with Radio Upgrade

The Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad has received a $20,000 grant from Investors Foundation for the purchase of digital radios that will be compatible with systems used by first responders in Summit and the surrounding area.

The First Aid Squad applied to Investors Foundation for a grant to help offset the total cost of a necessary $140,000 upgrade from analog to digital radio equipment. Digital radio equipment provides first responders with added features and functionality, improved coverage, and critical interoperability with other agencies.

“Through this generous grant, Investors Foundation is helping the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad to better serve our neighbors during emergencies,” explains first aid squad president Robert Flanagan. “We thank Investors Foundation for its dedication to the squad and support of our mission to provide the best possible emergency medical service.”

The Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad Inc. is an independent nonprofit corporation dedicated to providing emergency medical services, non-emergency ambulance transportation, and safety training to the Summit community. All services are provided free of charge and funded entirely through private donations.

Investors Bank, a full-service community bank headquartered in Short Hills, created the Investors Foundation in 2005 to support the communities it serves. Investors Foundation supports initiatives in the arts, youth development, health and human services, education and affordable housing. For more information, go to https://www.myinvestorsbank.com/community/investors-foundation.

The all-volunteer First AId Squad has 90 members, including 20 junior members and is always looking for new volunteers to join its ranks. All needed training, uniforms and equipment is provided. Follow these links for information on becoming a volunteer, or donating to the squad follow these links or call us at 908-277-9479.

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Squad Reorganizes for 2019

Mayor Nora Radest accepted an invitation to the First Aid Squad’s annual reorganization meeting to administer the oath of office to the officers and trustees for 2019, a task she was happy to perform for the 3rd consecutive year.

Bob Flanagan, who previously served as Vice President is the Squad’s new president.  John Christmann is the new Vice President.  Dave Bernstein and Katherine Ganger will continue to serve as Treasurer and Recording Secretary respectively, while Fred Schwarzmann will serve as the new Corresponding Secretary.

Outgoing president John Buscaino will continue to serve as a Trustee.  Other Trustees include Beverly Brown, Marco diMayorca, Carl Ganger, Matt Raymond, Nancy Weeks, and Kerry Whitcher.

Kari Phair will remain as the Squad’s Chief and be assisted by Deputy Chief Matt Raymond, Records Lieutenant Mel Harari, Personnel Lieutenant John Christmann, Training Lieutenant Jane Mahoney, Equipment Lieutenant Robert Endress, and Maintenance Lieutenant Richard Raymond.

The all-volunteer First Aid Squad is entirely funded through private donations and does not bill for service.  The Squad has 90 members, including 20 junior members and is always looking for new volunteers to join its ranks. All needed training, uniforms and equipment is provided. Follow these links for information on becoming a volunteer, or donating to the squad or call us at 908-277-9479.

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Summit EMS Holiday Video 2018

Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season from your neighbors at the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad!

Watch on the Summit EMS YoutTube Channel
URL: https://youtu.be/dDdkkGVMFtE