The Princeton Packet
19 September, 1986
Split up costs to fund fourth lifemobile
Mercer County’s outlying towns are in 75 need of more responsive lifemobile service and now have, nowhere to turn but to themselves.
The state-approved lifemobile system, ,which operates 60 mobile intensive care 54 units throughout the state with the help of federal money, cannot afford to add another vehicle now.
State officials last week let county life-mobile organizers know their request for a fourth vehicle would be denied because the federal government has acap en the available money pending a review of New Jersey’s joint-response stem.
While federal regulations require lifemobiles to transport their patients, most New Jersey units only provide care. While volunteer ambulance crews do-the actual transportation. The federal government has waived its rule, allowing this state’s lifemobiles to be reimbursed, for their service, thereby keeping federal money flowing. State officials expect an extension of this waiver soon, but do not expect any more money to accompany it.
Gov. Thomas yearn is in the process of appointing a panel to study the state’s emergency medical service, but any recommendation for this body can be expected for at least a year. And arty action may not be forthcoming for some time afterwards.
But Hopewell Valley and East and West ,Windsor residents don’t want.to wait over a year for improved response times from the county’s lifemobile service. Units are.now based in Hamilton. Trenton and Princeton, making response to the outlying areas less timely than local residents and officials want.
A lifemobile costs about $325,000 to purchase and staff for a year. If Mercer County and all its wns want to increase the Service they will have to come up with the money. Or they must do a thorough lobbying job along with the four other areas in the state that want lifemobiles, to convince the Legislature and governor the money will be well spent.
If Mercer County and all its towns were to pay half the expense, and the state could provide the other half, the burden would be reasonably shared. Most important, the lives of accident and heart attack victims would be saved more frequently.
The price seems small for the security a fourth lifemobile could give us.