President of Fanwood Rescue Squad Expresses Opinion on EMS Regulation Bill

Nancy Mustachio of the Fanwood Rescue Squad comments on a bill to regulate emergency medical services.

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. 

Town October 05, 2012 at 09:01 PM
We need to move away from the legacy town based EMS service and move toward county or sector based service. Union County (with your tax dollars and grants) now runs a county EMS unit. Towns such as Scotch Plains have grown large enough and our medical insurance system is robust enough to support paid people with volunteer backup. Fanwood, Scotch Plains, Mountainside, Berkley Heights, Westfield, Cranford are of like need and should have one EMS service. Local town squads just don't want to lose control of their little fiefdom. What worked back in the 60s and 70s does not always fix today’s needs. Full time staff will equal better on the job experience which equals better care. There are issues to be worked out but the protectionism needs to go and the service levels need to increase. If the public knew how many towns across NJ have struggled over the past 10 years to provide day coverage you will drive yourself to the hospital every time. Fanwood and Scotch Plains depend on 3-4 people for the majority of daytime coverage. When they go on vacation or can’t respond you don’t get an ambulance. We all love our volunteers but don’t live in the Midwest. We live in then most densely populated state and need to ensure the services are ideal for our needs.
R Kury October 07, 2012 at 11:21 AM
I do not remember instructing the county government to spend my tax dollars on a new EMS service. What other duplication of services are they cooking up?


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