Police & Fire

Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad Mighty in Face of Winter Storm Quinn

Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad members answered 26 EMS calls over a 36-hour period. Credits: Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad
Volunteers removed snow between emergency calls. Credits: Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad

SUMMIT, NJ - The Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad (SVFAS), which spent days preparing for Winter Storm 'Quinn', answered 26 emergency medical services (EMS) calls and three mutual aid calls beginning March 7 through the evening of March 8. There were six occasions when the SVFAS had two ambulance crews responding to simultaneous calls and three times where all three ambulances were on simultaneous calls.

The night of March 7, a Summit ambulance crew responding along with a rescue truck from the Summit Fire Department to an accident on Route 78 became stuck in traffic. It would be four hours before that crew made it back to headquarters. Another ambulance became briefly stuck in the snow on Division Avenue. A nearby resident pitched in to help that crew free their rig.

Between calls, members cleaned and re-stocked ambulances, cleared snow from around the building. repaired a set of broken snow chains, and monitored the many road closures which necessitated them to plan alternate response routes.

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As they did prior to the storm that preceded 'Quinn' a week earlier, preparations began well in advance, in this case on Monday, March . After reviewing weather forecasts, the call went out for extra volunteers to staff the building on March 7 - 8. Members who were not scheduled for duty stepped up and helped the Squad keep three ambulances fully staffed.  Meanwhile Squad officers had all vehicles checked and fueled, made arrangements for needed supplies as well as food in the building since shifts might be extended, and reminded all members of steps to take for themselves as well as their families.

And, as “Be Prepared” is the motto of the Boy Scouts, it is an everyday practice at the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad. So, it should come as no surprise that an Eagle Scout was among the 22 volunteers to staff the Squad’s headquarters during Winter Storm 'Quinn'.   

The all-volunteer First Aid Squad is always looking for new members to join its ranks. All needed training, uniforms and equipment is provided. The SVFAS is funded entirely through private donations and provides all services free of charge.  For information, call 908-277-9479 or visit summitems.org.

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