Police & Fire

Press Releases

Preparedness Pays Off for First Aid Squad

Credits: John Christmann
Members review emergency protocols. Credits: John Christmann
The Squad tripled staffing for an 11 day period Credits: John Chsritmann
To keep the building staffed 24/7 many members slept at the Squad building. Credits: John Christmann

The capabilities of the all-volunteer Summit First Aid Squad were put to the test by super storm Sandy and the nor’easter that followed just 1 week later.  Thanks to good planning and a dedicated membership, the Squad once again exceeded expectations.

In advance of the storm the building was prepared and secured for rain and high winds.  Several years ago the squad installed a generator large enough to power the entire building to ensure adequate communicate and response during power outages.  The generator was serviced, tested, and prepared for extended operation prior to the storm. The property was cleared of outside fixtures and debris that might become wind driven projectiles.  Squad Captain Kari Phair and several squad lieutenants participated in on-going Emergency Response meetings with City officials.  Kari then remained at the City’s Emergency Operations Center during the storm.

While the squad had been well prepared for Hurricane Irene last year, there were still a few lessons learned from that storm that helped this year’s effort.  Most notable were the loss of power to the homes to so many of our members and the resulting communications issues along with the difficulty traveling to the squad building due to numerous downed trees and wires.

Sign Up for E-News

As a result, plans included soliciting members to volunteer for extra crew assignments at the building.  Food and living supplies were gathered to accommodate volunteers staying at the building for extended periods.  For 11 days, two 12 hour operational periods were each staffed with three full ambulance crews, a primary response crew and two back-up crews.  The crews were required to respond from the building over night, necessitating bunking on the floors and couches since the squad does not have sleeping facilities.  Although volunteers often respond to emergencies from their homes, the potential hazard of the immediate storm dictated safe responses from the squad building. 

On the night of the storm, ambulances were parked backwards in their bays to minimize damage in the event wind blew in the garage doors.  The Squad building remained on generator power for 8 straight days. After utility power was restored for a few hours, it was lost again and the generator powered up with no trouble for an additional 3 days. During that time, the squad building also served as a warming and charging station for the many members with no power at home.  Several battery chargers were set up with spare radio batteries to allow members to keep their squad radios working.  A large dry erase board was continually updated with the street closures in town; at one point over 50.

During the next 10 days, the squad responded to 108 emergency calls; more than double the normal call volume. “We often had two ambulances (and crews) responding simultaneously, and sometimes three. Several calls were related to Carbon Monoxide (CO) exposure, usually from portable generators.” said Squad President John Christmann.  There were also a few falls that may have been the result of poor lighting in homes with no power and at least 1 call to assist a resident using in home oxygen.  But, the bulk of the calls were typical medical or trauma emergencies.

Squad operations were not limited to Summit. The night before the storm was due to hit, squad members responded with 2 ambulances to help evacuate Hoboken University Medical Center.  After a request from the State Police, the Squad also assembled a crew for deployment to southern New Jersey, although that request was withdrawn after 30 ambulances from Pennsylvania were made available.

During the second week of power outage, call volumes returned to normal, although additional volunteers monitored calls to respond from their homes as necessary.  Just last night, the squad answered 3 simultaneous emergency calls with off duty members responding to answer the 2nd and 3rd calls.

Squad Captain Kari Phair was very complimentary to all of the members who served during the storm and it’s aftermath; 62 in all.  But, most members will be quick to point out that it was the efforts of the long time Squad Captain that really made the plan come together.

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, please call 908-277-9479, or visit their web site at: www.summitems.org.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Sun, February 25, 9:30 AM

Calvary Church, Summit

Tricia Walker-Three Chords and the Truth: A ...

Arts & Entertainment


Sun, February 25, 10:00 AM

Camp Riverbend, Warren

Camp Riverbend Open House


Sun, February 25, 11:00 AM

The Connection, Summit

Rockette Style Workshop Series

Arts & Entertainment

Summit Fire Department Blotter

01/01/2018 9:26 am     FD dispatched to a motor vehicle accident, car vs. pole in front of 196 GLENSIDE AVENUE.  On arrival occupant was out of the vehicle.  Summit EMS assumed patient contact. FD made notification to the power company to make repairs.  Summit PD remained on scene for traffic control and road closure until repairs were made.

01/02/2018 7:36 pm ...

Summit Police Blotter

February 12, 2018

2/1 - At 0955 hours a report was taken for a theft of a street sign. The unlawful incident occurred between an unknown time frame on Pine Grove Avenue. Value of the street sign was not immediately available at the time of the report.

2/5 - Roberto C. Noel-Berman, 23, of Summit was arrested and charged with possession of CDS. Mr. Noel-Berman was released with a pending court date.

2/5 - ...

Lightbridge Academy in Millburn Hiring Assistant and Lead Teachers

February 23, 2018

If you are passionate about educating and nurturing young minds, you may fit right in with our family! Lightbridge Academy is currently hiring Assistant and Lead Teachers to join our team and grow with us!

If you would like to learn more about the positions offered, you can reach us at 973-218-1800.

Video: Point View's Petrides Says Market Healthy, Strong Despite Sell-Offs

Point View Wealth Management's Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, John Petrides, live on FOX Business News discussing the market sell-off post the release of the Fed Minutes:


For nearly 25 years, Point View Wealth Management, Inc. has been working with families in Summit and beyond, providing customized portfolio management services and ...

Is FAANG Long in the Tooth?

Investors love to rally around a stock story. Today it’s all about the FAANG stocks. Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Netflix (NFLX) and Google (GOOG) are a major reason why the S&P 500 rallied so much in 2017. Mr. Market is convinced the FAANGs are impervious to a sell-off. “Its different this time” is ringing loud and clear, but will the outcome really be that ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

Let the Games Begin

I am truly awed by the Olympics.  Watching these superb young athletes on TV inspires me to renew my membership to the gym and pursue my lifelong dream of taking home the gold.  


The problem is that in my deluded head, I can see actually see myself standing atop the podium.  I am wrapped in a puffy designer ski coat with a huge piece of bling slung around my neck ...

Movies! Movies! Movies! - Three Ways to Enjoy Movies

Most people who use the Summit Free Public Library are familiar with our video collection: thousands of DVDs and nearly 800 BluRays -- and growing!

In addition to recent box-office hits and Hollywood classics, we have foreign films, anime, and musical performances from Aida to ZZ Top. Binge-watch a must-see TV series, discover a new one, or introduce your kids to your childhood ...