UNION COUNTY, NJ – Elizabeth residents have the added resources of an expanded Union County Emergency Medical Service (Countywide EMS), which is experiencing its fourth straight year of growth by a wide margin. The Freeholder Board established the service permanently in January 2012, in response to increased calls for emergency assistance throughout the County.

County Emergency Medical Service has responded to 3,681 calls so far in 2015, from January to August 2015. The average of 460 calls per month puts the yearly total on track for approximately 5,500 calls. The total for 2014 was 4,223 calls or just under 352 calls monthly.

“Budget constraints, hospital emergency room closings, changes in medical practices, difficulties in recruiting volunteers – these are all sources of pressure on local responders,” said Freeholder chair, Mohamad Jalloh. “Countywide EMS enables us to address those issues in a coordinated way without additional costs for taxpayers, and that has become all the more important in recent years as our population has increased.”

Countywide EMS makes additional ambulance service available 24/7. It can be called into service when local officials are handling multiple calls at once, or calls involving multiple victims, to ensure that emergency services are delivered as quickly as possible. It can also be used as backup when local ambulances are out of commission for unexpected maintenance or repairs, and it can serve as a standby precaution at public events.