FANWOOD JOINS WITH OTHER SQUADS TO PROVIDE COST-EFFECTIVE TRAINING FOR VOLUNTEER EMTs
Volunteer rescue squads from Fanwood and four other nearby communities have successfully launched a training cooperative that provides required elective courses to volunteer EMTs who might otherwise have to pay for them out of their own pockets because of budget cuts in Trenton.
The cooperative, named the Scotchwood Training Alliance, is made up of the Fanwood, Scotch Plains, Westfield, Summit and Springfield rescue squads. The name is derived from the two founding squads, Scotch Plains and Fanwood.
Under the agreement signed by all the squads, every month a different squad hosts a course, which is open to volunteers from all five squads. The host squad pays the cost of the course, typically $250 for a 3-credit class, regardless of how many people attend.
In 2009, the Corzine administration eliminated the source of funding for volunteer EMT training due to budget restructuring. In early 2010, the Christie administration restored funding for initial EMT courses and half of the continuing education courses EMTs are required to take over the 3-5 years of their certification. In 2012, only funding for initial EMT courses was spared. All EMT refresher and elective courses for volunteers are now paid for by individuals or squads.
The first Training Alliance course, examining the EMS role at crime scenes, was hosted at Fanwood’s building on Watson road on July 27th. Approximately 30 members of the five squads attended.
Members of all five squads will be given advance notice of the course schedule including course name and number. They must enroll using that information through njoemscert.com.
Thanks to Jeff Carr, Training Officer of FRS, and Dan Sullivan, President of SPRS, for spearheading this effort.