I have spent the last few months getting Emergency Medical Responder training to be able to take part in a unique program to get medically trained people to Jersey City residents in need. The program is called United Rescue, and it is the first implementation of this type of program in the US. The United Rescue program is a offshoot of a program called United Hatzalah that was created in Jerusalum to deal with the time delay for getting trained people to medical emergencies.
Jersey City EMS has one of the quickest response times in the country (6 minute average) from when a 911 call enters the system to when a trained medical person is onsite for person in need. This could be an EMT, a Paramedic, or a trained member of the fire department. Jersey City, through its Mayor Steve Fulup, brought United Hatzalah, the JCMC, and other organizations together to make this happen. The goal is to get that response time down to 3 minutes. When someone is in need, those minutes count.
No public funds were spent on this program, it is all completely privately funded. The 60 hours of training the volunteers undertook was led by the EMS department of JCMC, the 16 hours of hands-on ambulance ride-a-longs and dispatch training was conducted by JC EMS staff and to them we are grateful. JC plans to put at least 260 volunteers on the street over the next few years.
We have been trained, and given the necessary medical supplies, to respond to calls. It is not something I wish on anyone, but if I can help someone in dire need of help the time and effort will have been worth it.
Lastly, I would like to thank Karen for supporting me in this. Eight Saturdays in August, September and October severely cut into our trips ‘down the shore’. You have stood by me and I will be eternally grateful.
The shore awaits…