MILLBURN, NJ — At Tuesday evening's Millburn Township Committee Meeting, members of the township committee approved the use of funds from the town's Emergency/Storm Trust Fund to serve as a donation to the Millburn/SHort Hills Volunteer First Aid Squad (MSHVFAS).
The measure came about in part, due to the extremely high number of calls that the squad has handled during the pandemic. As MSHVFAS President H. Steven Roth explained when interviewed by TAPinto Millburn/Short Hills last month, COVID-19 has changed every aspect of his department's procedures:
"Night and day, life has totally changed," Roth said."the rules have all changed. Everything that we've learned, everything that we know, except we can't access a patient right now without wearing a mask. You can cut your finger, you can trip on the curb ... but [for] everybody, we have to have a mask."
Those masks, along with the suits, goggles and other implements used by the squad begin to add up in cost fast. As a result, the all-volunteer squad has found itself in need of help.
While they have received donations from the community, including a generous one last month from the Millburn/Short Hills Chinese Association, the cost of purchasing all the necessary supplies for EMTs in the squad is still steep.
That is where the funding from the township will come in.
As part of resolution 20-092, the township is authorized to donate $20,000 per month to the MSHVFAS out of the trust fund, in a total amount not to exceed $60,000. That breaks down to a time frame of three months of donations.
In her opening remarks during the meeting, Mayor Jackie Lieberberg acknowledged the efforts of the squad and thanked them for their tireless work.
In good times, they provide a vital service," Lieberberg said. "And now, more than ever, we appreciate and acknowledge their selfless contribution to our community. The volunteers are completely committed to assisting our residents, and we are so very grateful as they continue to operate, whereas many other squads have either closed or are on hiatus during this crisis.