Police & Fire

Holiday Season Brings No Snow, But Flurry of Activity for Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad; CPR 'Save,' Baby Delivered on Same Day

It's a Boy!: Summit EMS Chief Kari Phair and Mayor Ellen Dickson congratulate EMS volunteers Katherine Ganger, James Rath and Paul Raynolds. Credits: John Staunton

SUMMIT, NJ - It’s not uncommon for members of the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad to see an increase in calls during major holidays or during the holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year. That was, indeed, true beginning on the weekend of December 12, with squad volunteers answering 22 emergency calls between Saturday morning and Monday evening.

Not only was the on-duty crew busy, but on four occasions, off-duty volunteers responded to staff additional ambulances needed for multiple simultaneous calls.

All three Squad ambulances were used on December 12 to answer three separate calls the came in rapid succession. Off-duty members were called in again the following day when two medical calls occurred at nearly the same and, on the evening of December 14, the Squad again pressed three ambulances into services for unrelated medical calls at three residences. 

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Responses included a CPR save, a mutual aid medical call in neighboring Millburn, and the delivery of a healthy baby boy. The Summit First Aid Squad operates 24 hours a day and always has an assigned crew on duty which handles the vast majority of calls. When the duty crew is committed to another emergency, off-duty members are alerted by pager, radio, and a smart phone app of the need for additional personnel. 

Among the most gratifying accomplishments for a squad member are saving a life using a skill such as CPR and / or a defibrillator, and assisting with the delivery of a baby.  “Events like that only happen a few times a year," said Squad Chief Kari Phair.  “We’ve never seen both happen on the same day.”

During the Squads’ general meeting Monday night, Mayor Ellen Dickson congratulated the three members who helped deliver a baby: James Rath, Paul Raynolds, and Katherine Ganger.

The all volunteer First Aid Squad is always looking for new members to join its ranks. All needed training, uniforms and equipment is provided. For information, call 908-277-9479, or visit summitems.org.

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