PERTH AMBOY - The City of Perth Amboy has begun a transition of its Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to the not-for-profit Raritan Bay Medical Center (RBMC), a longtime member of the community. This effort is part of the city’s cost-reduction efforts to address a fiscal crisis that reflects decisions made by the previous administration and a national economic crisis, and that includes a 26 percent tax levy increase.
The city and RBMC are working closely together towards a transparent and seamless transition that will allow these services to be transferred with no disruption or negative impact on city residents or others who may require the services. The completion date for the transfer will be July 1, 2009.
While the city will save money through this transfer, there will be no reduction in services. Indeed, the EMS unit will be in the hands of a medical facility with an established reputation for providing these services.
“I want to assure our community that Perth Amboy will save money through this transfer of services but services will not be impacted,” said Mayor Wilda Diaz. “Raritan Bay Medical Center is a top-notch institution that has served our city well and we are pleased that they are going to take on this vital service for our community.”
Raritan Bay Medical Center’s ambulance service has been providing basic life support and advanced life support services for more than 20 years in Central New Jersey. In Perth Amboy the hospital has provided advanced life support services alongside the city’s 911 basic life support service for the last 25 years.
The hospital’s EMS operates seven days a week, 24 hours a day responding to approximately 11,000 calls each year in Perth Amboy and the surrounding communities. Its fleet of 11 ambulances also provides mobile intensive care and other special transportation needs. The department consists of 70 emergency medical technicians, paramedic and specialty care transport nurses. Directed by a board certified emergency medical physician, the program also provides training in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ALS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) to area health care professionals including Perth Amboy’s current EMS staff.
“We’ve been working alongside the city’s EMT staff providing them with advanced life support services in the field and comprehensive training for the EMTs and paramedics for more than 25 years and certainly look forward to this new and expanded relationship,” said Mike Semple, director of EMS at Raritan Bay Medical Center. “Our expert training and excellence which led to the hospital’s designation as a primary stroke center, national designation as a Magnet hospital for nursing excellence and our participation in national demonstration projects for elective and primary angioplasty assures Perth Amboy residents are getting the best possible service.”
As part of the agreement between the city and RBMC, the EMS unit will continue to be maintained at Fire Headquarters. RBMC will lease that space as well as additional office space at headquarters.
RBMC will be reaching out and scheduling interviews with city EMTs interested in pursuing employment with the hospital. The hospital is looking to fill at least 8 additional positions. On May 15, 2009, the city sent notices to 10 full-time EMT workers; layoffs are effective June 30, 2009.
RBMC is anticipating the purchase of three ambulances from the city to add to its current fleet. As part of the agreement, RBMC will maintain one primary ambulance for city calls, and an ambulance will be provided at all city events and fire scenes.
RBMC is scheduled to make a presentation to the Perth Amboy City Council at its next meeting on Wednesday, May 27 outlining its qualifications to take on the EMS services needed by the citizens of Perth Amboy. The council is also expected to review a resolution pertaining to the 5-year agreement, as well as an ordinance pertaining to the lease of the garage and office space, and the acquisition of the ambulances.
For more information about the City of Perth Amboy, please visit: www.ci.perthamboy.nj.us.