MONTVILLE, NJ – The volunteers of the Montville Township First Aid Squad (MTFAS) are continuing to answer 911 calls and provide emergency ambulance coverage for Montville, Towaco, and Pine Brook. We have noticed a concerning sharp drop in call volume and would like to echo the department of health in encouraging people who are experiencing true medical emergencies to seek immediate help. We are also looking for your continued monetary and equipment donations as our operation is primarily donation funded. The First Aid Squad would also like to sincerely thank those that have supported and provided continued support to our organization in this time of need.
MTFAS calls sharply increased in the month of March at 99 calls for service and dropped in April to just 66 calls for service.
Never Neglect Medical Emergencies:
The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) and the New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA) have identified a trend of decreased emergency room admissions. While we hope that this trend is the result of people staying healthy and safe, we fear that some patients may be neglecting life-threatening illness out of fear of being exposed to the novel coronavirus. The Montville Township First Aid Squad would like to assure residents that every measure is being taken by our organization to prevent cross contamination. Hospitals have taken similar precautions to isolate COVID patients from non-COVID patients and are continuing to treat every patient in safe environments.
MTFAS would like to join the NJDOH and the NJHA in reminding residents of the symptoms of strokes and heart attacks, two of the most common, deadly, and time-sensitive medical emergencies. According to the NJDOH, heart attack and stroke risks can vary by age, gender, and heredity, including race. Shared risk factors for heart attack and stroke can include high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, smoking, high cholesterol, physical inactivity, and heart disease.
Signs of a stroke can include:
- face drooping
- arm weakness or numbness
- slurred speech or difficulty speaking
- sudden confusion
- trouble seeing.
Signs of a heart attack can include:
- chest pain or pressure
- pain or discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach
- shortness of breath
- nausea or light-headedness.
For more warning signs, visit Signs. If you believe you are experiencing a medical emergency, dial 911.
Transmission Prevention and Decontamination:
The squad continues to receive and utilize donated personal protective equipment including respirator masks, Tyvek suits/gowns, safety goggles, boot covers, and gloves. We have continued to utilize ambulance #28 as our dedicated coronavirus unit and have modified it for that purpose. Ambulances #27 and #29 are also equipped with necessary protective equipment, but have primarily been used for patients that do not present with COVID-like symptoms. The First Aid Squad has also obtained medical-grade ultraviolet disinfection lights. These UV lights provide an additional layer of disinfection on top of traditional bleach wiping practices by emitting light at a wavelength that kills germs in a matter of minutes. Coupled with aggressive social distancing policies at our station, these approaches have successfully kept our patients and volunteers safe.
The First Aid Squad would like to thank the community for their overwhelming support. Specifically, we would like to thank and highlight some of our high school cadet members who have been working from home to further the squad’s mission. The First Aid Squad suspended its cadet program for the safety of our high school cadets; however, this hasn’t stopped them from making a difference. Vincent secured KN-95 masks for the squad. Brian and Jeffrey donated N-95 masks on behalf of their church. Mrudul raised money via GoFundMe for the squad. Anjali and her family in conjunction with Sewa International USA donated masks and gowns. Priya solicited donations from local businesses. Griffin raised money to purchase food for healthcare workers on the front lines. (See the TAPinto Montville story here.) The cadets of the First Aid Squad continue to be assets to the squad and the community.
How YOU can help:
We would like to remind you that our EMTs are volunteers and that our operation is NOT tax funded. The Montville Township First Aid Squad is a non-profit organization that relies on donations from residents to function and does not receive money from hospitals and does not bill patients for services rendered. Any monetary donation is appreciated. Donation information is available at www.montvillefas.org.
We have also set up a GoFundMe fundraiser which has information about our PayPal account and our Venmo account included in the description here: Give PPE. As the coronavirus continues to spread, we ask that you continue to heed the warnings and orders of state and local health officials and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Minimize all non-essential contact, stay at least six feet apart from others when you must have interactions, and wash your hands frequently and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.
For donation information and recruitment information, please visit our website: www.montvillefas.org.
In case of a police, fire, rescue, or medical emergency, dial 911. MTFAS NON-emergency 973-263-4144.
For more resources, please see information from:
The Montville Township Health Department: https://www.montvillenj.org/402/COVID-19
The New Jersey State Department of Health: https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/ncov.shtml
The United States Center for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
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