Squad wants to decide its own future

Princeton Packet
13 January 1982

Squad wants to decide its own future

by Ron Bartlett
Staff Writer

Princeton’s First Aid and Rescue Squad has prepared five ’’counter proposals” to those made recently by municipal officials attempting to find permanent funding solutions for the daytime paramedic cress.

Those proposals will be presented today (Wednesday, Jan 13) when squad
the Borough Council and Township Committee at 5:15 pm, in Borough

The squad has listed five general proposals for discussion and consideration, and also issued four points for local government to consider, the strongest being that the squad constitution clearly states that the final say on all matters is the sole right of our general membership, and no one else.”

This point goes directly against the latest of a series of proposals made by the municipalities, which would crease a financial advisory committee that would have final say over the squad’s annual budget “The squad, though, said they would cooperate with the committee, that that they would have “the authority to advise only.”

ALSO THIS week, one of the squad’s two full-time paid paramedics, Kevin Kelty, handed in his official resignation, stating that his reason for leaving is the continued uncertainty of funding for his position..

Through most of 1981 to the present, a method of permanently funding the paramedics has not been found, since the borough ran out of money for the program in September and has been allotting temporary funding since then.

“After the funding hassle started. I figured this wasn’t as secure a place as I had thought.” Mr. Kelly, who will take a paramedic position with Middlesex General Hospital, said. Going three months at a time, you can’t plan any future but that’s not to say I plan on being a paramedic all my life.”

Mr. Kelty said he is concerned now that a permanent funding arrangement will be found for the paramedic program shortly after he leaves, and his worries are amplified by the fact that “I liked working here. I like Princeton and the people who I worked with. But it was just something I had to decide.”

SQUAD MEMBERS over the past several months have continually stared that the unclear funding picture could cost them the paramedics who are presently employed here.

Jack Seeley, the newly elected captain of the squad and a Princeton Township police officer, said the group plans to advertise the position in local newspapers, although he voiced concern over what future applicants will face.

“With the constant instability of funding, it’s difficult to get qualified help for the position,” Mr. Seeley said.

Mr Kelty had been a paramedic with the squad for the past year and one half. His last day on the job will be Jan. 22.

In the letter outlining the squad’s

See SQUAD, page 12A

(continued from page 1A)

feelings, which will be presented to local officials, squad president Mark Freda stresses that the new counter proposals “are for the most pan concepts only and do not go into detail ” They were not, he also noted, listed in any order of priority.
The proposals include:

• A special fund drive that would be conducted in the late spring to be used to fund the day-time paramedic program, which costs about $30,000 annually. The squad suggested that the governing bodies, or other concerned citizens could sponsor this, but admitted one question was whether this would hurt the regular squad funding drive.

• The paid daytime crew become municipal employees, instead of remaining squad employees.

• The paid daytime crew become employees of the Princeton Medical Center.

• The crew would be funded on a ratable or 50/50 basis by the two governing bodies for fiscal year 1982. Since the squad’s fiscal year ends July 31, the squad would have time to assess its financial picture to see if a contribution to the program could be made for 1983’s program, and further alternatives could then be sought.

THE KEY POINTS made by the squad include that insurance coverage remain the responsibility of the governing bodies, that the advisory committee only act as an “advisor.” and that a CPA already retained by the squad has sufficiently assisted in budgeting and administration problems.

Council woman Barbara Kill, who has worked closely on the squad problem, said the groups are “still just in the talking-negotiating stage” and said said she had no new comments to make.

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