William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNewsnet
BROOKLAWN N.J. (July 6, 2016)—A CNBNews tip received over the weekend claimed that
the Brooklawn Ambulance service was shut down by mayor and council, and it has been out of service for 30 days. The ambulance service is operated by volunteers.
Contacted today, Wednesday, Brooklawn Municipal Clerk Ryan Giles said our source was correct. He said it has been down since June 6.
“It was taken out of service for internal reasons which will be discussed tonight in a committee meeting between council and squad officers and members. Mayor and council were concerned about the ambulance response to calls. There were times volunteers were in the firehouse when calls were received but for some reason they didn’t respond. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Council decided to take them offline until they could investigate further. There has been a collection of issues prior to that but that is internal stuff."
Giles said the Bellmawr Ambulance has taken over the primary service to Brooklawn since June 6 and the Lourdes Ambulance from Gloucester City is the secondary provider. “I foresee Brooklawn coming back online soon. I just don't know an exact date. Council and the ambulance officers have to come up with a plan. Once that is in place we will bring the local service back."
Asked if the borough faces any fines from the state because the ambulance is down, Giles said no.
Giles said the Brooklawn EMS service is all volunteer. “On average, they answer about 600 calls yearly, or 50 calls a month. Some of those are service calls which were answered by mutual aid. We did a study on the response times of our ambulance to calls and we were not happy with what we found. The residents of Brooklawn have nothing to fear if there is a life-threatening emergency. If 911 receives an emergency call it goes out to all towns in the area.”
“Brooklawn is very lucky to have volunteers. That is why the council is not looking to keep them out of service for long. Council feels they need a concrete plan in place to make sure our residents don’t suffer. If someone falls and is in pain and you take 20 minutes to get there that is an issue?"
“As for the concrete plan, I think the council is looking for an exact time when the volunteers would be available to answer calls. For example, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 a.m. they would be available for service and between the hours of 2 a.m. to 10 a.m. mutual aid would take over. Council doesn’t expect them to be there all night. That building doesn’t even have air-condition.”
Giles said the committee meeting tonight is not a public meeting. “The committee will discuss what steps they recommend with the mayor and council at the regular council meeting on July 18. Most likely that discussion will be held in executive session. “
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