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  • Fire LODDFirefighter Gary Stephens, a a 29 year veteran of the Elizabeth Fire Dept. died in the line of duty on January 2nd during a 2 alarm fire on Marshall Street, Elizabeth. He was 56 years old.
  • The NJ Dept. of Health has FINALLY approved regulations for epinepherine auto injectors (Epi-Pen) to be carried on BLS ambulances. The law authorzing this use and ordering the DOH to develop regulations within 120 days was signed by Governor McGreevy over 4 years ago! EMTs must complete a special training session to administre a non-prescribed epi-pen. Agencies wishing to carry the epi-pen must the majority of their active members complete a training program approve by their medical director.
  • A power supply and back-up generator failure at Overlook Hospital left the facility without power for 7 hours, prompting a mobilization of area ambulances, transport of 17 patients to other facilities and temporary closure of the Emergency Dept.
  • Heather Howard has been appointed Commissioner of Health and Senior Services by Governor Jon Corzine. Ms. Howard is attorney with health policy experince. She is also the first Heatlh Commisioner who is not a physician. [ Heaher Howard's Bio ]
  • EMS/Fire LODD Kevin Apuzzio, a volunteer firefighter with the East Franklin Fire Department, paid EMT with Rutgers University, and volunteer EMT with Union Volunteer Emergency Unit was killed while attempting to rescue a fire victim on 4/11. Click HERE for more info.
  • EMS LODD James Dodridge, a volunteer EMT with the Oldbridge First Aid & Rescue Squad was killed on the scene of an MVA on Route 9 on 3/15. Click HERE for funeral arrangements.
  • New free EMS magazine Penwell Publishing, publishers of Fire Engineering has launched a new magazine Fire EMS which is available free to qualified EMTs and Paramedics. Click HERE for the online application.
  • Passaic Hospitals merge. Passaic Beth Israel Hospital has purchased the General Hospital Center at Passaic from Atlantic Health Systems and plans to consolidate both operations into the existing General Hospital at Passiac facility. The new hospital will be called PBI Regional Medical Center. The old Beth Israel facility will be closed.
  • EMSNETNJ shuts down. This service that hosted free sites for many NJ EMS squads shut down on 5/31/2003. has also announced termination of it's free hosting in 11/2003. Information on obtaining free or professional web sites for your organization is available at our new Internet page
  • EMTs aproved to carry epinepherine The State Assembly and Senate have passed a law permitting BLS agencies in NJ to carry epi-pens. The law goes into effect on May 27, 2003. Guidelines from the Commissioner of Health were due 90 days later and as of May 2006 have still not been released.
  • Firehouse destroyed in Hammonton The Nesco Vol. Fire Dept. lost it's headquarters and 3 vehicles Sunday night. 2 engines were saved and no serious injuris reported. [ Full Story ].
  • New Book about NJ EMS get great reviews  Into the Breach: A Year of Life and Death with EMS by Jana Karam, a NJ EMT who volunteered with the Chatham Emergency Squad focususes on her ride alongs with UMDNJ EMS in Newark as well as her own experiences. Highly recommended by Library Journal and Emergency Medical Services Magazine.
  • Low cost Loans Available for Volunteer Fire and Rescue Squads through the State Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety. Loans are available to assist organizations with the purchase of equipment and the construction of facilities through the Volunteer Emergency Service Organization (VESO) Loan Program. These 2-percent interest loans must be repaid within 10 years.

    For more information, contact the state Division of Fire Safety by Sept. 15 at (609) 292-1353 for further information and applications.

  • Passaic fireman makes the ultimate sacrifice. Alberto Tirado, a 40-year old Passaic City fireman was killed while attempting to search for 2 missing children during an apartment house blaze. Full story from the Bergen Record.
  • Senate approves more volunteer incentives A Bill permitting towns to provide free child care as well as a $150 property tax break to EMS and Fire volunteers was unanimously approved by the State Senate on 5/3. The Bill now heads to the State Assembly for their approval. For the full story, read the Star-Ledger coverage.
  • Haz-Mat Guide Book Update The following corrections should be made to the 2000 Emergency Response Guidebook:
      Guide listed for Dimethyldichlorosilane (ID No. 1162)
      On Page 360, in the Table of Water-Reactive Materials Which Produce Toxic Gases (green- bordered pages), the wrong Guide (Guide No. 151) is listed for Dimethyldichlorosilane (ID No. 1162). The correct Guide for Dimethyldichlorosilane (ID No. 1162) is Guide No. 155, as listed in the ID Number Index (yellow-bordered pages, Page 29) and the Name of Material Index (blue- bordered pages, Page 130).
    This correction has been made to the ERG2000 Internet version at the USDOT web site.
  • LOSAP is a Hit Across the State. In more than 50 New Jersey communities, voters overwhelmingly approved the establishment of Length of Service Award Programs (LOSAP) as an incentive to recruit and retain EMS and Fire volunteers. [ Full Story ]
  • New HCFA Regulations spare volunteer squads, but cut MICU reimbursement. The coalition of various EMS organization in the state remain concerned about the impact of these revised rates on ALS services in the State. These groups include the New Jersey State First Aid Council, New Jersey Association of Paramedic Programs, New Jersey Medical Transportation Association, New Jersey Hospital Association, New Jersey Commissioner of Health and Senior Services. The First Aid Council and Paramedic Association have both urged their members to contact state, local and federal officials seeking support for the current EMS system. For more information, visit the HCFA Alert Page at the NJSFAC web site.
  • The New Egypt First Aid and Emergency Squad received the awarded the Emergency Medical Service Gold Standard of the Year Award from Emergency Medical Services Magazine, a national publication. Last year's winner, was also a New Jersey Volunteer Squad (Northfield Rescue Squad).
  • State Sen. Diane B. Allen (R, Burlington County) introduced 7 bills to help volunteer fire & EMS. In an article that appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Sen. Allen said the bills address problems squads face as volunteers dwindle and populations rise.
  • St. Elizabeth's and Elizabeth General Hospitals have merged to form Trinitas Hospital. The east campus of Elizabeth General has been renamed the New Point campus of Trinitas. The west campus of Elizabeth General will close. All acute care including an expanded Emergency Department will be based at the St. Elizabeth's facility, now called the Williamson Street campus of Trinitas. The New Point campus will be equipped with an urgent care "doc-in-the-box" facility to handle minor emergencies. Psychiatric, as well as the Brother Bonaventure Extended Care nursing services will remain at this former Elizabeth General site.
  • Bound Brook looses a squad building and firehouse. Mutual aid from around the state poured into Bound Brook following the flood caused by Hurricane Floyd. NJSFAC Mobilization Director Frank Goodtsein coordinated a continual response of over 60 squads to assist the weary Bound Brook Rescue Squad and their Somerset county neighbors. Members were able to rescue all of their apparatus, but the Bound Brook Squad building as well as the newest of their 3 fire houses appear to be total losses.
  • AMR is for sale. Laidlaw, the corporate parent of American Medical Response, has announced that it will sell it's health care operations division which consists of AMR and EmCare. AMR is the largest private ambulance service in the U.S. EmCare is a leading U.S. provider of physician practice management services in hospital emergency departments.
  • More Defibrillator grants available. Prudential Insurance has announced that 50 grants of $ 1,000. each are available for NJ volunteer squads to purchase a defib. The application is available online, at the Prudential Helping Hearts website. If unable to access the Prudential site, please contact Tom Steele at Prudential at (973)560-4000 x4061.
  • Fire hits the West Milford Township squad building leaving serious damage. At least 1 ambulance was lost, the building is severely damaged and may be a loss. This is the 3rd NJ squad building to be struck by fire in less than a year. If interested in helping the squad, please contact Ted Wolf at to see what assistance or supplies they may need.
  • Discounted Internet Access for public safety personnel is offered by New Jersey based Intellitech Internet Services. EMS, Fire/Rescue and Law Enforcement members, career or volunteer, can register for Internet service for just $14.00 per month. Register online at and in the referral box enter "Code; CSD" For more info, please call 1-888-THE-NET8 or 732-777-1331 or Email:
  • 2-in, 2-out rule applied in New Jersey - OSHA's new guideline which calls for 2 firefighters in full turnout gear and SCBA to stand-by for rescue of the initial hose team before inside structural fire fighting can begin, is now a requirement in the State. While few will argue the merits of this policy from a safety standpoint, many smaller departments are concerned about their ability to quickly attack a fire with limited personnel.
  • Nutley Squad answers 100,000th call ... on Sunday, March 7, 1999. The Nutley Volunteer Emergency & Rescue Squad, which was founded in 1953 as the Nutley First Aid Squad, provides free emergency services operating 4 ambulances, a rescue truck, and a boat.
  • Atlantic Health Systems has announced it's new Heart Smart Plus Cardiac Emergency Training Program following the approval of Assembly bill (A-2321) and Senate bill (S-1456). The measure, strongly endorsed by the American Heart Association, removes legal barriers for lay people, who have received proper training, to use AEDs on cardiac arrest victims.
    "Our goal is to have AEDs in shopping malls, theaters, stadiums, golf courses, fitness centers, office buildings and everywhere large groups of people gather," said Jeanne Kerwin, Director of Emergency Medical Services for Atlantic Health System. The Heart Smart Plus Cardiac Emergency Training Program, established at Atlantic's Overlook Hospital in Summit, is a 4-5 hour program that incorporates the AHA's new "Heartsaver" AED curriculum. It combines hands-on AED instruction with AHA-approved cardiopulmonary resuscitation training, along with a comprehensive cardiovascular education and an emergency preparedness program. The program was developed in response to a widespread demand for this training in corporations, airlines, physicians' offices, clinics, local YMCAs, and private homes.
  • MONOC (Monmouth-Ocean County Hospital Corp.) has been awarded a 3-year contract to provide ALS & BLS Emergency Medical services to Atlantic City. EMS in Atlantic City had previously been contracted to AMR.
  • New Jersey is now the 36th state to extend "Do Not Resuscitate" orders beyond the hospital. The new policy takes effect immediately. It covers CPR, airway intubation and defibrillation. According to Jeanne Kerwin, Director of MICU for the Atlantic Health Systems hospitals, training of EMS personnel in the new policy has already begun and will be offered to all EMS agencies throughout the year.
  • The Emergency Services Volunteer Length of Service Award bill was signed into law by Governor Whitman. The new law permits municipalities to set up awards programs based on length of service for volunteers actively serving with an emergency service. In the same session, the Governor, normally a strong supporter of volunteerism, chose to "pocket veto" A-2853, a bill to amend the 1992 EMT Training Fund act. In a letter that this webmaster received from the Governor, she cited concerns about the elimination of gubernatorial appointment authority and restrictions on the promulgation of rules by the DOHSS. (The latter issue is why most of us in the EMS field supported A-2853)
  • New Jersey's Emergency Services News has undergone some changes. The entire staff has left the former publisher, formed their own company and is now publishing the monthly newspaper under the name 1st Responder Newspaper. 1st Responder Newspaper will continue to send free copies to Fire, EMS, rescue stations & hospitals. Home subscriptions will be $18. per year. For more info. contact Belsito Publishing at (914) 564-1962.
  • The NJ Dept. of Health and Senior Services - Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS) has a new mailing address. Mail to: NJ Dept of Health & Senior Services, OEMS, P.O. Box 360 Trenton, NJ 08625-0360;
    FedEx & UPS to: 50 E. State Street, 6th floor Trenton, NJ 08608 Phone: (609) 633-7777

National EMS News


Into the Breach: A Year of Life and Death with EMS
Into the Breach: A Year of Life and Death with EMS

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