President of the Fanwood Rescue Squad, Nancy Mustachio, expressed her opinions and concerns on a senate bill regulating emergency medical services, which was approved by the State of New Jersey Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on Monday.
On Sept. 25, the Assembly Appropriations committee approved this same bill, which will now move to the Senate floor.
Patch also spoke to Scotch Plains Rescue Squad Captain, Dan Sullivan, on the bill moving forward, following the Sept. 25 approval.
Mustachio said the major concern is the "devil in the details." It's what is not written in the bill that could cause concern, she said.
For example, how the background checks would be funded and what does requiring the EMT's to be licensed come down to in terms of cost and administrative duties.
Right now, Fanwood Rescue Squad requires a certification rather than a licensed.
The certification consists of a test where EMT's are then approved and certified, followed by basic training.
Licensing, she said, would require additional steps and therefore, additional costs.
Mustachio pointed out that the bill would provide better care and a quicker response time, but again "it would come down to the details."
In terms of training, "of course we want the most responsive person possible," Mustachio said. "But if it comes to cost, where is the money coming from?"
Currently, Fanwood Rescue Squad sends out two mailings a year to raise money for the squad.
Mustachio stated the Squad is 100 percent supported by the community and are fortunate to have such a strong and supportive community.
"We are also very frugal," she added"
Additionally, she expressed her gratitude to Frank's Auto Repair and Auto Body for their recent donation of a 55" HDTV to the squad.
If the bill were to be passed by the senate, Mustachio explained that the volunteers are vulnerable and have concerns on how the process of further training, background checks, etc. would be carried out and again how they would be paid for.