Q: Does the Millburn-Short Hills Volunteer First Aid Squad, (MSHVFAS) charge patients for their services?
No – We do not charge for our services and we never have, since our inception in 1958.
Q: My neighbor needed an ambulance. Why did two (2) ambulances arrive at their house?
What you probably saw was a MSHVFAS ambulance and Paramedic Unit. In New Jersey, paramedics, who are hospital-based, sometimes use large SUVs or ambulances. Sometimes referred to as MICU (Mobile Intensive Care Units), these vehicles and the paramedics who operate them are an extension of the hospital’s emergency room and provide a higher level of care than EMTs can provide.
Q: I remember seeing an ambulance crew transport a patient and I did not see the Paramedics. Why?
Simply stated, probably because the paramedics were not needed. Each patient’s need is different for each ambulance trip to the hospital. It’s very likely that patient’s need did not require that level of medical attention. It’s also possible that the ambulance crew could have been on their way to rendezvous with the paramedics, enroute to the hospital.
Q: Who makes the determination for whether or not Paramedics are needed?
There are very specific protocols that spell out the need for Paramedics. When someone calls 911 or your local police dispatcher, they can quickly determine the need for paramedics, based on the nature of the injury/illness/event. Additionally, the ambulance crew can also request to have Paramedics dispatched, should the crew determine there is a need.
Q: I got a bill for my ambulance trip to the hospital. I thought MSHVFAS doesn’t charge. Can you explain?
You are correct, MSHVFAS does not charge for their service. However, there is a charge for the hospital-based paramedics.
Q: What happens if I need an ambulance and the ambulance or the crew is not available?
First, a backup tone and alert will be sent to all volunteers that an additional crew it needed. If able, off-duty members will staff another ambulance. If no off-duty members can respond, MSHVFAS relies on long-standing mutual aid agreements with other volunteer ambulance squads from a number of surrounding towns.
Q: Are your members all volunteers? Are any of your members paid?
Yes, all of the members of MSHVFAS are unpaid volunteers. Most of our members are otherwise employed and/or are students.
Q: What hospitals do you take your patients to?
Our primary hospitals are Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston and Overlook Hospital in Summit. In certain cases, we can transport patients to Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, University Hospital in Newark, Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville and Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark.
Q: What is the level of training of your typical member?
All members are certified Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) or currently enrolled in a course. At present, the curriculum for the EMT program is approximately 200 hours. EMTs are also required to recertify every three (3) years.
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