Volunteer organizations offer support to first responders during extreme conditions

It has been a tough week to be a firefighter in New Jersey due to temperatures in the 90s for much of the week. But luckily there are some volunteer organizations offering their support.

News 12 Staff

Jul 23, 2022, 12:33 AM

Updated 694 days ago

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It has been a tough week to be a firefighter in New Jersey due to temperatures in the 90s for much of the week. But luckily there are some volunteer organizations offering their support.
At least five canteen organizations in North Jersey provide help at fire scenes, including County Wide Emergency Services.
County Wide Emergency Services is a 24-hour operation that handles Bergen County. It also works alongside the Lodi Fire Department. The group has around 24 members, made up of volunteers and retired first responders. They know firsthand what it's like working in an emergency and what first responders need.
“We know our role. We pull up, we get the ice, the water. We get Gatorade, whatever they want, we do. We just want to make sure that the firefighters are hydrated so they don't get heat exhaustion,” says Joseph Fehl, chief of County Wide Emergency Services.
Firefighters appreciate the help. They must wear more than 50 pounds of equipment. The heat from outside, plus the heat from the fire makes it unbearable.
This service is extended to the police, EMS and OEM. They also offer cooling and heating tents and food and shelter.
County Wide is waiting to get its 513C status, which will allow the organization to get state funding. But until then, funding comes from members.
“We all basically put money in. We help each other out. One of the guys will say, ‘I’ll get this’ and that’s basically how we do it.
This year alone they've been called to 14 fires, nine of which have been just this summer.


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