Volunteers needed! First aid squads across New Jersey seek help with high call volume
First aid squads are dealing with high call volume combined with shrinking numbers, and volunteers are needed.
Hazlet First Aid Says it answered 64 calls in just the first seven days of 2022, more than double than average. Because of the high volume, five of the calls had to be answered by local nearby mutual aid squads.
Chief Stephen Schmidt and his crew need more volunteers, but it’s not just Hazlet that needs volunteers. It's a statewide issue from Atlantic Highlands to Hoboken, and local EMS squads have put in requests for help on social media pages.
“I think people just don't have the time, and there is training involved. Our EMT program is 240 hours over a four-month period - it's a lot of work for somebody to put in. Long training hours, COVID sickness, and a simple lack of free time all adding to the crunch felt at local squads,” says Schmidt.
But for those like Schmidt, who dedicated 45 years to volunteer service, the reward is making a difference.
“The baby I delivered, he's 22 years old now. I run into his family all the time. He's in school, but in case you run into him too - it's a good feeling when you see them,” says Schmidt.
Anyone looking to volunteer should contact their local town hall for more information.
Training is free and takes about four months.