23 April, 1986 (~estimated)
Lifemobile unit finally returns to proper base
The lifemobile is back at Princeton Medical Center, returning Monday to the base it left in January.
The Mobile Intensive Care Unit has been on a three month odyssey which included stops at Princeton’s Valley Road Administration Building and the Princeton Junction Fire Co. in West Windsor before pressure from local government officials prompted the return.
A fatal accident on March 24 in Montgomery pointed out the weakness of housing the lifemobile on the east side of U.S. Route 1, and the mayors of Princeton Borough, Princeton Township, and Montgomery Township joined forces to have the unit moved back across Route 1.
It’s taken some inter-hospital negotiating and three weeks for the change to become fact, but the lifemobile unit originally ordained to operate from the medical center is back.
Now the paramedics will have the office space they need — to do their paperwork, store equipment and maybe relax between calls. They had been in cramped quarters in their first stint at the hospital and at Valley Road had to vacate their shared quarters at lunchtime when the school bus drivers were eating.
What Mayors Barbara Sigmund, Winthrop Pike, and Donald Matthews were able to show was a lack of coverage under the county lifemobile plan as administered by Helene Fuld Medical Center.
Helene Fuld had put together the initial three-lifemobile plan to satisfy state regulations. The lifemobiles offer advanced life-saving care at accident scenes or to cardiac patients. They do not transport patients as volunteer rescue squads continue to do.
Now Helene Fuld is pursuing the possibility of having a fourth lifemobile in the county plan, a worthwhile addition in view of the complaints from the Hopewell Valley towns about lifemobile coverage there. Hopewell Township’s Mayor Richard Van Noy said the original county coverage plan would have put one of the lifemobiles closer to his township.
Mayor Van Noy’s complaints, along with those already lodged, added to the pressure for the lifemobile administrators to bring coverage back across Route 1.
The lifemobiles and the paramedics who operate them provide a crucial part of the life-saving services residents of Mercer County have come to expect. All residents deserve equally rapid coverage.