For rescue squad
Panel delays decision on gas, ambulance
by Michael Holcombe
The Princeton Joint First Aid Committee last night agreed to make favorable recommendations to Princeton Borough and Township concerning six of eight requests made by the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad to the . two municipalities.
But it postponed any recommendation concerning the two requests which involve expense to the borough and township.
Rather than recommending that the municipalities foot an estimated $22,000 bill to purchase a new ambulance and provide the squad with about 1,300 gallons of gas each year, the committee instead chose to organize a Financial Overview Committee to review the squad’s financial : management.
The committee put off a decision on the financial items so that it could be supplied with the necessary information to present an educated argument to the municipalities if a favorable recommendation is forthcoming.
The bulk of the evening’s meeting was taken up by discussion of two items: the pros and cons of the squad’s request for municipal help in alleviating its manpower shortage; and the possibility of financial assistance for the purchase of the new ambulance.
The six members of the board all agreed that the towns need to get involved in drumming up support for the squad’s recruiting drive in some manner. They determined that the most logical solution would be to convince local businesses to allow employees the time during the work day to respond to calls when necessary.
Squad member Ed Obert estimated that there are a half dozen employees in the Princeton area already fully trained who could very well take part in weekday rescue calls if they were permitted to leave work with pay.
The alternative, the board agreed, would be paying for daytime help. But committee member Richard Woodbridge, although agreeing with the final recommendation, wondered whether businesses would not rather pay the tax which resulted from the hiring of such help than lose employees during the work week.
Squad officials pressed hard for a recommendation on the purchase of the ambulance, but the possibility of complications arose during the discussion.
The squad offered to take title to the ambulance after its purchase so that it would bear the responsibility of insurance, but board members were uncertain that either municipality would agree to relinquish ownership of a vehicle it had helped purchase.
Squad and committee member Mark Freda expressed the squad’s willingness to that arrangement as well, but added concern over what restrictions would be placed on the use of the ambulance. It was then that the committee decided to postpone the decision on the ambulance until it could be reviewed by the Financial Oversight Committee.
After receiving tentative approval from Princeton Township Police Chief Fred Porter, the committee recommended that the township police dispatch the squad for a trial period beginning at the start of 1979 and ending sometime after the summer of the same year.
The committee also wasted no time in recommending that it continue to meet in the future and also that a Joint Public Safety Committee, which would include representatives of township and borough police, the rescue squad and the fire squads, be formed.
The committee recommended that the township “do the best it can” to remove the snow from the apron in front of the squad house and additionally recommended that the borough absorb the cost of its direct line to the squad.
After discussing the problem with Borough Chief Michael Carnevale, the panel decided that the $140 a year expense could be added as a line item in the next borough police budget.
In the other requests discussed, the committee postponed the decision on supplying gasoline to the squad and recommended that the municipalities aid the squad in finding grants which would help defray the cost of various training programs involving squad members.
Wednesday, December 6, 1978
“I’m Here Today Because…”
To the Editor of Town Topics:
I would like at this time to thank the members of the First Aid and Rescue Squad for the splendid work they do year after year. I had heart failure in the middle of the night and because of their quick response to our call for help, I am here today.
My special thanks go to Ed Obert, Suzanne Neilson, Phillip Barnette and Mark Freda, who were at my house in a matter of minutes to help me. I live next door to Ed Obert, who is a Para-Medic and also captain of the team. I hear him going out night after night on calls to help those in need. It is wonderful to know that we have such dedicated young men and women to help us night or day.
Keep up the good work! God bless you.
– LYDIA S. PERNA
156 Jefferson Road