NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - The New Providence Volunteer Rescue Squad's Teresa Nell has been selected as one of 14 first responders to receive the Overlook Medical Center Excellence in EMS Award.

As the nation marked National EMS Week, Overlook Medical Center, part of Atlantic Health System, celebrated the important role of EMS first responders in the communities they serve, and highlighted the extraordinary accomplishments of members of several local squads in the region at the 21st annual 'Excellence in EMS Awards' dinner.

"For many of our patients, the care process begins with you,” Overlook president Alan Lieber told the audience of EMS providers and their families who attended the event. “Your dedication is the first line of care, and tonight we want to show our appreciation for the important part you play in our work of building healthier communities.”

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John Hanna, M.D., a stroke neurologist at Overlook’s Comprehensive Stroke Center, noted that the collaboration between local EMS squads and Overlook health care providers, combined with advances in care, have improved outcomes for patients at the hospital.

“The knowledge of our EMS providers is critical when it comes to treatment of stroke,” Hanna said. “Their understanding of everything, from stroke signs and symptoms, to patient history, to the criteria for TPA clot-busting medication – all before the patient reaches the emergency department – greatly aides rapid communication with stroke neurologists that advances treatment in crucial minutes. This allows for a safe and effective treatment plan and really helps improve the chances of a good outcome."

Hanna highlighted Overlook’s recent achievement of a 12-minute door-to-needle-time (the time it takes for a patient to receive clot-busting medication from when he or she enters the emergency department) to treat a stroke patient earlier in the month, topping its previous best of 13 minutes in 2015 – already well below the national door-to-needle guideline from the American Stroke Association of less than an hour.

Fourteen EMS personnel were given awards at the event for exceptional service. The awards were presented by colleagues, who described the winners’ accomplishments to the audience. In addition to Cline, the award winners included:

  • Jim Cline - Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad

  • Richard Crater – Chatham Emergency Squad

  • Bill Weslosky – Clark Volunteer Rescue Squad

  • Brian Siwek – Cranford First Aid Squad

  • Karolyn Buckridee – Fanwood Rescue Squad

  • Mikaela Teixeira – Long Hill First Aid Squad

  • Julius Korn – Mountainside Rescue Squad

  • Susan Baldani – Scotch Plains Rescue Squad

  • Marla Napurano – Spríngfield First Aid Squad

  • John Staunton - Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad

  • Cindy Catao – Union Emergency Medical Unit

  • Nick Grieco – Watchung Rescue Squad

  • Sergio Guzman – Westfield Rescue Squad

Additionally, Overlook also recognized two members of its emergency department staff at the event for their accomplishments:

  • Jessica Delgado-Days, a patient care technician at the emergency department at Overlook’s main campus in Summit

  • Jennifer Carillo, a patient care technician at the Overlook Medical Center Union Campus’s emergency department

Mayor Al Morgan issued a proclamation designating May 21 through May 27, 2017 as Emergency Medical Services Week in New Providence in recognition of all those dedicated individuals engaged in emergency medical services and express the heartfelt appreciation of our community:

  • New Providence has a dedicated group of volunteers who save lives and reduce disabilities of the critically ill or injured through their training and skill 24 hours per day, seven days per week; and
  • New Providence EMS personnel, engage in thousands of hours of specialized training and continuing education to enhance their skills; and
  • New Providence is a leader in emergency medical care available to patients and desires to continue to improve upon its emergency medical services system in order to assure all residents the highest standards of emergency medical care; and
  • It is appropriate to recognize the value and the accomplishments of the members of the New Providence Rescue Squad by designating an Emergency Medical Services Week.