Disbanded EMS squad presents problem in Hardyston

The disbanded Hardyston ambulance squad has led to some increased response times for medical service in the township.

The disbanded Hardyston ambulance squad has led to some increased response times for medical service in the township. (7/16/15)

HARDYSTON - In the wake of the dissolution of the Hardyston Township volunteer ambulance squad, a family says they had to wait 40 minutes for help to arrive when their young son was found unresponsive.

Hardyston Township dissolved the squad in December because it could not find enough volunteers to staff it.

"There were about five EMTs. It was dramatically anemic," says Hardyston Township Manager Marianne Smith.

The township has come up with agreements with three neighboring towns, which have assigned their own ambulance squads to cover specific areas of Hardyston at specific times.

"The response time is significantly less than it had been because he have more agencies," Smith says.

Smith says the situation where it took 40 minutes to arrive for the one family was unique. In that case, the ambulance was traveling 25 miles away from Denville. Smith says that this does not represent typical response times.

The mutual aid agreement with neighboring towns could expire by the end of the year.  Between now and then, Hardyston will look at long-term options for providing its own ambulance services.

Among the options Hardyston is considering are a shared regional first aid squad, paid EMTs, or ambulance services provided by an outside agency.

Hardyston will hold a public meeting July 22 where a consultant will present the options.

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