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Winter Weather Keeps Squad Volunteers Busy

The Alternative Press Staff

Monday, January 13, 2014 • 9:28am

SUMMIT, NJ - The dramatic weather that hit Summit recently kept the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad scrambling to assist their neighbors in Summit and a few in adjoining communities as well.

When black ice coated streets and walkways around Summit, the Squad handled nine emergency calls, including two requests for assistance from New Providence.  Many of these were in response to falls on the ice.  Squad volunteers also responded to a serious motor vehicle accident on Route 78 in Springfield which resulted in a fatality.   It was also one of the busiest days at Overlook Hospital’s Emergency Department.  Two of those calls were handled by off duty members responding to staff an additional ambulance.

With morning temperatures climbing back into the 50's, a new set of emergency calls were received.  The squad answered an additional nine calls during the day, with several related to breathing issues or general sickness.  “When the weather changes drastically, it is not uncommon to see an increase in these kinds of calls, particularly among patients who have asthma or other respiratory conditions,” said John Staunton, Squad Captain.

As the temperature again dropped to near zero, the squad responded to a variety of 9-1-1 calls, which also included falls, breathing difficulties, and general sickness.  The squad also treated and transported a crossing guard struck by an automobile.

At one point, multiple 9-1-1 calls were received in a single hour, necessitating three ambulances to be out at once.  “We are fortunate to have the vehicles and volunteers to respond to such events,” said Crew Chief, Kari Phair.  The squad was also able to staff its fourth ambulance at that time, although it was not needed.

During the first eight days of 2014, the First Aid Squad has responded to over 50 emergency calls.  

The all volunteer First Aid Squad is always looking for new members to join its ranks.  All needed training, uniforms and equipment is provided.  For information, please call 908-277-9479, or visit their web site at: www.summitems.org.

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