Aid squad answered more than 800 calls during ’06

PlumstedPlumsted PLUMSTED – The New Egypt First Aid Squad held its annual installation of officers ceremony for 2007 on Jan. 6.

According to Mayor Ron Dancer, the volunteer New Egypt First Aid Squad has been serving Plumsted for 69 years, since 1938.

During 2006, the squad responded to 881 calls, of which 230 were answered by the daytime paid staff of the Plumsted EMS (Emergency Medical Service) that began operating on May 22. With the daytime Plum-sted EMS staff on duty, the daytime response time is now five minutes and 30 seconds to the scene of a call, compared to the national average of eight minutes, the mayor said.

In a joint cooperative effort last year, the Township Committee and the New Egypt First Aid Squad established Plumsted’s first Basic Life Support (BLS) provider program. Under the BLS program, Plumsted residents now have two full-time community service officers who are certified Emergency Medical Tech-nicians and part-time per-diem community service officers during daytime hours (7 a.m. to 5 p.m.) to provide emergency medical services coverage. The first aid squad experiences a shortage of volunteers during these daytime hours, Dancer said.

The BLS program is paid for by insurance companies, Medicare or Medicaid, and not by taxes or by residents being billed or responsible for any payments or deductibles, even if a resident has no insurance coverage. The revenues from the payments of insurance companies, Medicare or Medicaid pay for the daytime BLS program expenses, as well as covering the portion of calls that are uninsured transports, according to the mayor.

He said first aid squad members donated 15,000 hours of volunteer time during the past year and traveled in excess of 30,000 miles in providing services. The recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award was Marie Dowd, who has responded to 6,439 calls as a lifetime member with more than 30,000 volunteer hours of service. The 2006 Top Responder Award went to volunteer Barbara Platt with 361 calls to service.

In other business, Dancer reminded residents that dog licenses must be purchased by Jan. 31 and cannot be purchased without proof of rabies vaccination. Township Committeewoman Ada Roberts, the liaison to senior affairs, proposed and the committee approved a 50 percent discount reduction in dog license fees for all senior citizens in Plumsted.

Animal control officer Mary Klink reminded residents that a late fee of $5 is enforced March 1 for anyone not obtaining a 2007 dog license.