University Hospital trauma team prepares for high-volume summer season

Car crashes are some of the most common calls all year long, according to the trauma team at University Hospital in Newark.

Tom Krosnowski

Jun 6, 2024, 12:47 AM

Updated 6 days ago

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The trauma team at University Hospital in Newark is preparing for the summer - historically a high-volume season.
They’re the sole Level 1 trauma center in northern New Jersey and have responded to more than 130,000 calls for service last year. Officials say each month this year has seen more calls than the hospital saw each month in 2023.
“You'll see probably as much in one year here that you would see in five years anywhere else,” said EMS Supervisor Brian Fitzpatrick.
There are 48 ambulances ready to go at a moment’s notice at headquarters, which also houses a team of dispatchers and classrooms.
“We change the focus of the training, so as we're getting closer to the summer months, we'll do more trauma-related stuff and more heat-related emergencies,” Fitzpatrick said.
A News 12 New Jersey crew got to ride along with the EMS team, responding to two car crashes in about an hour.
“We have to use some judgment when we’re driving,” Fitzpatrick said. “We could very often cause a much worse accident than the one I’d be going to.”
The job is equal parts risk and responsibility. Staff says the overall call volume stays about the same during the summer, but they respond to more car crashes and violent crime-related trauma than in other months.
“On occasion, our members have been injured,” Fitzpatrick said. “It’s kind of the risk we take. It’s all about taking care of the patient.”


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